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Runerx

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Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #1 

Hello,
   This is my first post and first time as a LL and unfortunately the rental game has not gone very well.
I have two Tenants that I am in the process of evicting  for non-payment through the Dayton municipal court. At the time of filing they were still occupying the property but moved in the last few days. Fortunately I know where they are living.
My first question is about the 2nd cause of action. I assume that the First cause will be considered moot as they have already left. But will they then schedule another hearing for the second cause? I am also assuming that the small claims limit of $3000 applies. Is this true?

My second question is if I get a judgment what happens if they don't pay?

Also if I get a judgment what is the easiest way to report them to the credit bureaus? 

I went through the unit and found that the carpets were badly stained by a dog, and of course they didn't pay a pet deposit. There were also  damaged doors, paint and the garage had quite a bit of damage from the dog also. I took photos and plan to submit them at the hearing.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated as this is my first time dealing with all of this and I feel like I'm wandering around in the dark. Thanks in Advance.

Dave

OHlandlord

Registered:
Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #2 
Dave, did they return the keys to you when they left?  If not, you do not have possession of the unit yet.  Either way show up in court for the first hearing and tell the judge that A) they vacated and returned the keys on XX/XX date or B) they abandoned the place and are not longer living ther but did not return the keys.  The judge will order that you have possession and isue the eviction verdict.  Since you don't have to have a set out, you get to skip that expensive step (lucky you!). 

At the first hearing, ask to set up the second hearing, the one for monetary damages.  All evidence for the damages and the amounts will be handled at the second hearing.  They can set the date when you are at the court already.  It will be for about 30 days from the first.  Clean the place and get it re-rented in the meantime.  Gather all your evidence, payment records, pics of damages, receipts for repairs, list of what dates and how long you worked on the unit to repair and clean, a copy of the itemized statement that you mailed to them before the 30 days from vacating/possesssion expires.  (note:  If they returned the keys, start counting the 30 days from there.  If they did not, the 30 days don't start until the judge awards you possession.)   At the second hearing take their entire file, have it organized, and be able to back up all of the charges listed on the itemized statement.  If the tenants don't show you win by default. If they do, they will contest every charge so be sure to be prepared to back them up.

Once you get the judgement and it is recorded by the courts, it should be picked up by the 3 major credit bureaus.  (If it isn't, you can submit the court's order for judgement to them yourself to be sure it is on their credit.)  Once you have the judgement, you have a couple of option to obtain payment.  You can attach a bank account of theirs (this is why we keep banking info & copies of their checks).  You usually can only do this once because they will then close that account.  Time the attachment if you can to coincide for when payday gets deposited.  You can also garnish wages if you know where they work.  Be prepared -they will quit that job soon after.  Finally, if they buy property, you can place a lien on it.  Be prepared to wait on your money.  If you have to evict them, they usually don't pay anyways.  But sometimes they get themselves together a coupe years later and want to buy a house.  They will then come running to pay you so they can.  At that time, be sure to add in all of the interest that you should into what they must pay.  Good luck.
Runerx

Registered:
Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #3 
No they did not return keys but they did return one of the garage remotes. Nice huh?
As far as the itemized list goes should it include all damages and repair costs?
Also is there a limit to the amount that they can be held liable for?
I don't have any account information as they always paid with a cashiers check but her job is easy to follow as she has to be registered with the state as soon as she gets hired. Sounds like its going to be an intresting ride.
If I do need to report to the credit bureaus what is the best way to do that?
Thanks again


Dave

OHlandlord

Registered:
Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #4 
Since you did not get the keys back, the judge will have to grant you possession of the unit.  If there are any personal items still in the unit, you may need a set out to get rid of them.  Your 30 days will not start until the judge gives you back possession.  Make a complete itemized statement showing how much their deposit was (remember that if you held more than one month's rent you must pay interest on it), then start the deductions.  List each deduction, what was wrong, what work you had to do the repair it, the contractor who did it (if an outside person), the date they did it, and the total cost of that repair.  Do this for each item.  If they owed rent, list that as an item (unpaid rent for the period of XX/XX through xx/xx). Remember that they owe you rent up to the date you receive possession back.  Since they never returned the keys, they owe until the judge gives that possession back to you.  Include costs to change the locks (since they didn't return the keys), the cost of the second remote if they had one, etc.  Remember to take pics of all the damages so you can prove them in court should the tenant contest hese. 

I don't know if there is a limit to it like small claims court.  I dont think so.  This hearing is different than small claims and is in a different court (in civil court for a monetary judgement, not in small claims court).  Once you get a judgement, you can contact the three credit bureaus yourself (they have web sites on the internet) and ask for their procedures to list the claim on their credit.  Judgements are usually picked up automatically.  There are also sites on different LL forums that will report your claim to the bureaus for a fee.  Good luck.
Runerx

Registered:
Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #5 

Thank you for all of your help... I may have more questions as this goes along.
Atleast now I know what to expect and hopefully how to bypass some of the pitfalls that might drag this out. I'm going to follow this through as far as I'm able to and keep after them if they try to dodge me. I have a very long memory. I'm sure it will be a PITA but I'm good at that.

I have a new tenant that I know through a friend and he is willing to do the needed work for exchange of reduced rent. Do you know of a way that I can use his work in this case? for Ex. if I take $150 off the rent for painting the interior. Would getting prices on replacements for damaged items suffice?


I also assume that if I want to garnish their wages I'll have to find out where they work?

Thanks again

Dave

OHlandlord

Registered:
Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #6 
Let me state that having any tenant work on your place is RISKY!!!  First of all, the tenant usually does a lousy job.  Whether it is painting, cleaning, or repairs, the work is not up to par with what a contractor would do.  They get paint all over the floor, carpet, baseboards, ceiling, trimwork, outlets, windows, etc.  They miss painting places or leave nap lines all over.  They halfa$$ the cleaning work and don't do it all.  The repairs are usually not done right or are not up to code and end up having to be redone later.  You give them money off the rent and think they have done the work, only to find out later that they never did it, or only did enough to look like they did if you come inspect.  Additionally, if they are injured when doing the work you are paying them to do (fall off a ladder, get shocked, hurt themselves), you are liable.  They are in your employ.  Unless this guy is employed professionally as a licensed, insured, and bonded painter, DO NOT DO THIS.  Never let a tenant work his rent off.  The other problem is what do you do if the job you paid for isn't up to par?  You can't come back and make him pay the rent after that. A contractor you could hold their payment until they made it right. 

Also, don't rent to friends or relatives (or any combination of the two).  If something happens and a friend or relative can't pay the rent, how can you evict him?  It's a sure way to end a good friendship.  If it's a relative, it makes holdiays very tense.  The rest of the relatives will take up sides, believe me.  You have to be the LL (Mr. Businessman), not a friend. Keep it cordial, but strictly business.  You can't do that with a friend.

I also assume that if I want to garnish their wages I'll have to find out where they work?  Yes, you need to know this in order to garnish.

Meredith

Registered:
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #7 
 I am new to this site..
    We have 2 older tenants - late 50's
 All their utilities are paid & the rental property is taken care of. However, they are spotty with rent payments (a little here a little there) and they are behind 2 months.
  Our personal residence is rather large & I was considering allowing them to work off rent. Based on your post this is not a good idea, correct?
   Any suggestions?
  This was our first rental property & we did everything wrong LOL (sigh)
OHlandlord

Registered:
Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #8 
Meridith, please start an individual post when you wish to ask questions.  The OP may be confued with conflicting info between 2 different posters in the same thread.  I hate to be the stickler on this, but much info is state specific and what may be correct for your state may not be for his.  That said, I will answer here.

It is a bad idea to have tenants work on any unit (their own or yours). I have tried this several times, but it nearly always turns out badly.  The work is rarely up to the standards of a contractor's.  It is usually shoddy, not up to city or state code, and mostly looks terrible to tell you the truth.  And as I said, if they are injured doing work while in your employ, you are liable.  You do not carry worker's comp on the tenant.  So any injuries, lawsuits, etc. would come out of your pocket. 

Now I have had ternants do minimal work that required no training or skill.  Chopping out bushes that were going to be completely removed, pulling weeds (watch out if you have any flowers in there), mowing the lawn.  Things that any neighborhood kid could do.  But even then I always made them sign a release saying that the work would be done in a professional manner using standard business practices for that type of work, that the tenant would wear any and all safety equipment that was recommended or required, that he would do the work in a safe and cautious manner, and that he would be responsible for any injuries he received in the course of this work.  (Now this release wouldn't have stood up in court had someone been injured and sued me, but it made them think twice and be sure to be careful.)  And I usually try to be there to supervise their work to be sure that it was done correctly.

The other problem with allowing a tenant to work off their rent is the problem of accountability.  You give them the money off.  What if they don't do the work?  What if it was done sloppily?  What if they only did the cosmetic things that you could see, but neglected to do anything that doesn't show up until later?  How do you go back after the fact and say, "Now, I want the rent for this work?"  How can you judge if the work was done correctly or not?  (In a way that would stand up in court.)  Let's say you gave them rent off to paint the house.  They throw paint all over.  It ends up on the windows, trim, they miss big patches, etc. How do you prove the job wasn't up to correct work?  They DID paint the house.  See what I mean? 

It just isn't a good idea to do this.  There are too many liabilities for you.  If they need help getting the rent money together, help them get a part-time job somewhere.  Otherwise, it may be best to let them go and find a tenant who will pay the rent on time.  Remember, being a LL is a business.  Emotions cannot enter into your desicions or you are destined to fail.  You must base all decisions on sound business reasons.  I know it may sound harsh, but does your bank care about people's problems?  Does the grocery store care?  How about the gas station, utility companies, or tax man?  You cannot look into their problems, only at their obligations.  Good Luck!
Runerx

Registered:
Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #9 
They have decided to return the keys now. Intresting that they said that they had kept them to "come back and clean and sweep the carpets and take care of the yard". I don't see how they were going to sweep when the electricity had been turned off, by them. I personally think its because they wanted their TV back that they left in the house, It's in the garage. I'm meeting them tomorrow and having the locks changed as soon as they pick up thier crap. Funny how they didn't care about the sand weights that were left in the back bedroom. I'm willing to bet that this is the last I'll ever see of them. But I'll do everything I can to wreck their credit and hound them for the money until I get all that I can.
Do you think there is any point in taking a  copy of the court records that I was able to get online showing two prior evictions??


Dave



Runerx

Registered:
Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #10 
They finaly brought back the keys and the second remote. Didn't return any of the things that they took though... curtains etc, imagine that So that will all get included in the 2nd cause. Tomorrow is the eviction and then I guess we will set the date for the 2nd cause of action. I willing to bet they show for niether. But I'll have everything ready just incase they do. The good news is i have a new tenant that I'm signing a lease with tonight. hopefully this one goes better. Any last minute advice??

Thanks

Dave
OHlandlord

Registered:
Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #11 

It will be great for you if they don't show up, you will win both parts automatically!  Just keep detailed records of the items they took, what you had to do to the place to get it ready, and any invoices you have for repairs.  Document well before the 2nd cause hearing.  Good luck!  (You did screen the new tenant much more carefully, right?  Just checking!   

Runerx

Registered:
Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #12 
Things went well this morning, and of course they didn't show up. I have filed the Alias and now I get to wait to see if there is any response. I'm also sending the Itemized deductions list to them by certifiedmail. anything else to do between now and then??
In some ways I'm lucky because I can look at other cases including one against my tenants and see the time line and what needs to be filed next.

thanks for all of your help

Dave 
OHlandlord

Registered:
Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #13 

Glad to hear it. When's the new tenant moving in?  First of the month?

Runerx

Registered:
Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #14 
Yeah hopefully this one goes better. We are starting out with a 6 mo. and then going from there. I'll probabaly be back for more advice as things progress.

Thanks again
Dave
Runerx

Registered:
Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #15 
Well things fell through with my tenant that was supposed to move in the first of the mont but I have a new couple that looks to be really good.

Back to the Deadbeats. The 28 days is about to expire on their time to file an answer and I will be able to file for a default judgement. From what the clerk said I may not have to actually go to court to get this done, just file the paperwork. Does this sound right? I'm going to call the clerks office tomorrow to check on what's next, but I assume that one I recieve the default judgement, I can then file for garnishment of wages. I'm guessing that i still have a few months before I can hope to see any money from all of this and even then I will probably have to re-file because she will quit her job to try to duck me. I swear if I had a tail I'd be chasing it.

Dave
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