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CitizenKane

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Posts: 45
Reply with quote  #1 

Looking for advice/info (for NJ commercial apartment building).

We filed for eviction and received possession from the judge (tenant did not show up for court, but is still living in the apartment). 

Our attorney filed for a warrant of possession and we're hoping the sheriff serves the warrant this week.

My question is:

After the lockout (hoping this is done next week), what can we do if the tenant leaves their things (furniture, clothes, food, etc)?

Can we charge them a storage fee?

Can we move the stuff into one room?

Can we clean out the kitchen cabinets and bathroom (we'd like to renovate the bathroom)?

Any advice would be appreciated.




OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,804
Reply with quote  #2 
I don't know if this is any help as I don't deal in commercial property.  In residential property, you get the eviction judgement and wait for them to serve it on the tenant.  (Tenants often don't show up in court.)  The court gives them a few days to move out.  Then you go through the sheriff's procedure (apparently clled a warrant of possession in your area, commonly called "red tagging" in my area).  The sheriff serves this paper on the tenant (or on the premises if the tenant cannot be found).  There is another couple days wait (usually 72 hrs here).  Then we file the short form (that comes with the red tag copy) with the sheriff (stating the address and the red tag number) and pay a fee (here the fee is $275).  The sheriff schedules a set out of the tenant's belongings within a day ot two.  In some places the sheriff actually does the set out, in others you do while the sheriff watches.   (Here, the sheriff does it all, I just have to watch.)  At that time all the belongings are placed outside of your property for the tenant to claim.  Only then is the property turned over to me to be locked up (and I usually change the locks immediately).  I don't know if commercial is any different, but once this is done in residential there are no belongings left in the building.  If the tenant does not pick up their belongings within 72 hrs. we call the city for pickup and they dispose of them.  I hope you can get the unit rerented quickly to a good tenant.
CitizenKane

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Posts: 45
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks!

I wish this were Ohio! It sounds simpler there.

I don't think the sheriff or constable will put out the tenant's possessions here. I got a quote from a company yesterday ($2250!!!) to pack move and store the contents of the apartment for one month.

I'm dreading having to let these people back into the building after the lock-out and stand around while they slowly pack up their stuff. To put it mildly, they are "unpleasant".  

We inherited these tenants from the previous owner (we purchased the property in Jan. 07) and were warned by a neighboring landlord that he had to evict them from his building. The last rent we received from them was Feb 15th.

We're almost positive they are in the US illegally; they refuse to show us any identification.

The building is in a nice town but in the low income neighborhood. It's called a "commercial" building because it has more than 4 units (it has 5).




OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,804
Reply with quote  #4 

So it is actually a residential rental, termed commercial for the volume.  Call the court system there.  In some places they will send out a sheriff to stand there (for free) while you pack and move the belongings to storage.  You will have to store them for 30 days.  One way to do this is to rent a storage unit in your tenant's name (like one of those mini-storage or self-storage places) and pay for one month's storage.  Send the tenant a copy of the key and a letter telling them that their property will be stored there for 30 days.  They will have access to the place at their leisure to remove the property.  And you will have no more contact with them.

CitizenKane

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Posts: 45
Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks again for the advice. After getting the eviction notice from the sherrif, the tenant went to the court house and got an "orderly removal" granted.

They have until the 22nd to leave and they don't have to pay this month's rent. 

Don't know what to expect when we finally get into that apartment (they locked us out months ago). 


OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,804
Reply with quote  #6 

Just expect the worst that you can imagine.  Then if anything is better than that it will seem OK.  You will likely have damages that will need repaired, trash that will need removed.  Expect to have to repaint and clean everything.  Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky and it won't be as bad as you think.  (We can always dream.)  Just take it one step at a time.  Everyone has this same scenario at one time or another.  Just don't stress out over it.  Good luck.

kurt

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Posts: 137
Reply with quote  #7 

Expect to bend over, hope to not..

CitizenKane

Registered:
Posts: 45
Reply with quote  #8 

Update on this for all who replied or are interested:

The tenants are gone, most of their stuff is gone (though much of it is piled up outside by the trash cans).

The apartment is a mess but could have been much worse.

The tenants broke into the basement and took some stuff (nothing of real value, police report was filed).

Before leaving, the tenant/husband used the common hallway as a toilet ("number 1")!

Thanks again to everyone for your replies. This is a great way to exchange ideas, opinions, advice, etc.


OHlandlord

Registered:
Posts: 3,804
Reply with quote  #9 

Sorry they left you a mess.  You'll have that from time to time with problem tenants.  Now start getting the place cleaned and ready to re-rent.  Get their accounting together.  Remember to charge them for any rent they owe, damages to the unit and common areas, and the damages to the basement and missing items if you can prove they did this.  Get their statement/bill to them before your state's time limit.  Good luck with your next tenants.

kurt

Registered:
Posts: 137
Reply with quote  #10 
SOunds like general dead beats, but you got off lucky in damages.. I've had a tenant do roughly $6,500 in damages to a unit(actually he wasn't a tenant and as my lease called him an "unauthorized occupant" which here's a note for all landlords who might not know an insurance company won't pay for tenant damage even occupants listed on the lease.. If you can show an un othorized occupant and that you tried to get them to move and did what you could legally(which isn't much might as well take number 1 against the wind in a hurricane) to get them out and that person does damages to the unit, then the insurance company will possibly cover it(did on mine fortunately).

So you got.. some what lucky, just clean up, ad up charges/costs sheet and good luck on collecting it from them.. In Ohio, that's a long, long shot most times. Good luck with your next tenants.
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