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skohler

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello all:
I have a condo that I'm renting out to a couple. They signed the lease in Sept. I let them move in without paying the security deposit - I put in the lease they must pay it within two months of moving in. Since they did not pay it by Christmas, I put them on a payment schedule beginning in Jan. They are not following the payment schedule. I'm not sure what to do next. The lease is for one year. They pay their rent every month, although it is always late.
Any thoughts?
Thanks!
OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,811
Reply with quote  #2 
I'd accept their next payment and apply it to the deposit instead of the rent.  Give them a receipt for the deposit.  Then issue a Pay or Quit notice for unpaid rent.  Always put a clause in your lease that any movies received are applied to the oldest debt first, before being applied to current rent.
5001

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Posts: 71
Reply with quote  #3 
Careful on this OHlandlord, most states do NOT allow a landlord to "unilaterally" change the purpose of the tenant's payment (rent) to what the landlord wants (deposit)  without the tenant's "agreement." Therefore, the pay or quit notice may fail.
5001

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Posts: 71
Reply with quote  #4 

Careful on this OHlandlord, most states do NOT allow a landlord to "unilaterally" change the purpose of the tenant's payment (rent) to what the landlord wants (deposit)  without the tenant's "agreement." Therefore, the pay or quit notice may fail.

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,811
Reply with quote  #5 
He is not changing the purpose of their payment.  They have a payment schedule that says they will pay an amount of their deposit each month.  They are behind in those payments.  Unless the money that arrives states specifically that it is for rent, how does he know it is not for the deposit payments they have agreed to pay?  The money does not arrive on or before the rent due date.  Since it arrives at other times, unless it is specifically marked "rent", it could be for any money they owe.
skohler

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #6 

I'm still not sure what to do. Here it is the beginning of Feb and they have not paid the security deposit, Jan or Feb rent. I may do a 30 day pay-or-quit notice for the rent. I don't want them living in my place if they haven't paid the security deposit. I shouldn't have let them move in without paying it. I don't know if I can change the purpose of the payments they make - ie apply the money to the deposit rather than rent. I have the VA landlord/tenant laws printed out and will read thru that. I don't think I qualify for legal aid hep but can't afford an attorney! I'm meeting with my tenants in one week to discuss these issues. I need a plan before I meet with them.

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,811
Reply with quote  #7 
Forgive me for being blunt.  But why would you give them a 30 day Pay or Quit notice?  (The 30 day notice tells them to leave, not pay.  It gives them another month of free rent.  It is for month to month tenants.)  VA codes 55-225, 55-243, and 55-248.31 allow you to give these deadbeats a 5 day pay or quit notice.  They pay up within that time or they get out.  If they do neither, they face eviction.  Do not meet with them in person except to hand them this notice.  Don';t tak to these people.  They didn't pay the move in monies they promised, they didn't pay January's rent as promised, they haven't paid February's rent as promised.  These people are not trustworthy.  They don't live up to their agreements.  Quit listening.

Look up the court's website, look for the eviction forms - most are on-line.  If they aren't, go to the clerk of court's office and ask for an eviction packet for non-payment of rent.  Tell her you specifically want the notice to pay or leave.  Ask her what is the legal way to serve the notice (hand it to them, leave it on their door, send it certified mail, what?)  The method of service is different in each state, so find out.  Fill it out, keep a copy of it, and hand it to them.  If they refuse to accept it, serve it by one of the other legal methods.  If you must post it to their door, take a dated digital photo of it hanging there to prove it was served. 

If they do not pay within the 3 days, file for eviction with the court.  Keep in mind that the 3 days usually do not include the day you serve it, any weekends, or holidays.  So make sure you don't count those days in the 3 days.  On the 4th business day, go file for eviction with that same clerk.  (If you seved it today, the 3 days would be Thursday, Friday, and Monday and you could file on Tuesday.)  Verify that you have waited the legal time before you file.  You do not need an attorney to do this.  Evictions for non-payment are fairly simple.  While waiting for court, do not contact the tenant.  Do not accept a partial payment - ONLY a payment in full.

You cannot allow tenants to walk all over you like this.  You cannot be frightened to take action.  You have tens of thousands of $$$ invested in that property.  It is worth something to you.  Don't let others use you like this.  Evict these deadbeats.  If you absolutely can't do it yourself, call a local LL association or a chapter of REIA and ask for help.  Someone there may help walk you through this procedure.  If not, hire a flat rate evcition attorney to do it.  Yes it will cost money, but not as much as you will lose if you allow this to continue.  Once the tenants find out that you are no longer listening to them and are going to evict, this type often moves out just before the hearing or the set out.  They find another unsuspecting LL who will listen to them and move into the next place without paying.  Take action and serve that notice today!
skohler

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #8 
You are right...I have let them get away with not paying for too long. I put my foot down today and wrote up a 21/30 day cure or vacate notice for violating their lease. I'm mailing a copy via certified mail and regular mail first thing tomorrow morning at the post office.

OHlandlord

Registered:
Posts: 3,811
Reply with quote  #9 
How can I say no?!?!!!  A VA (non-payment of rent) pay or quit notice is for only 5 days, not 21 or 30.  Give them no more time than what they are entitled to!  I would serve this to them based on the non-payment of rent.  You can serve this to them based on last month's rent which they have not paid, and if there is no grace period in your lease, you can also include the amount for this month's rent.   The 21/30 day notice of lease violation is only for the deposit and not for the rent.  Use the shorter form and give these deadbeats no more free time in your rental.  Serve the 5 day Pay or Quit notice tomorrow.  And call the clerk of court to be sure the certified mail is a correct form of service.  It isn't in some states.  Ask the clerk.  If posting to the door is allowed, do that instead!  Quit giving these liars more free time in your place!
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