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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
I have never been a landlord before and now have to rent out my one-bedroom condo.  I put together a fairly thorough application and thought I found a good possibility, decent salary and no real debt other than a car loan.  His only issue seemed to be that he had an ex-wife who still lives in their old house and is not paying the mortgage so his credit isn't the best...didn't seem like his fault so I believed him. 

I was told that you should keep the rent and security deposit separate so I had asked him to bring two checks.  Unfortunately,  when my new tenant showed up to get his keys, he only had one check (he said he didn't realize that there was only one check left in his checkbook).  He promised that he would put the other check in the mail that night (Thursday) when he got back to his current place.  I deposited the one check and it cleared and he moved in on Saturday.  By the following Thursday I still had not received the security deposit so I sent an email.  Almost all of our correspondences have been by email.  No response.  I sent a text message and phone message on Sunday, still no response. 

Its now Monday and not a word from him, am I overreacting?  Am I being to quick to assume that this guy is going to be a problem?  What can I do at this point?  Should I just keep calling, emailing?  I live about 50 minutes from my condo now and work even farther so its not easy for me to stop by there.  My parents are nearby the condo and my mother offered to stop by and just knock on the door, is that a good idea?

Any help or insight would be appreciated as this is my first landlord experience and so far it is not going well.  Thanks!


Posts: 445
Reply with quote  #2 

FIRST thing first....

look up your state LL tenant laws and read them.


Most states ( if any) do not recognize e-mail and texting as legal notice.  Yes we do use it for easy communication at times, but if there is any "legal" issues that may arise ( of it is from a problem tenant) we insist on those communications that are recognized.  Even though phone calls are recognized, they do not hold up well in court so don't depend on them.


Some states ( I understand) require or allow certified mail --- others forbid it (my forbids it).  If not required to be certified, send it first class and get a "certificate of mailing" at the post office when you mail it.  It costs less than $1.  Attach that to your copy of the letter that you keep.  It will be proof positive that you sent it and hold up in court.


Now, you goofed up big time.  Did your contract say the deposit was paid? (you do have a written contract  don't you?)  Hopefully you made note that it was due and not paid.  Why 2 checks??????? just get the money and move the deposit to the separate account!!!


Best advice is to get the notice per state law and try to come to an agreement-- maybe he will be a really good tenant and is just short of money ( hopefully you did check out references).  Get him to send in payments if nothing else. If your state law allows ( most do) personal delivery you could have you mother do it ( have it signed for)  or post it if allowed ( usually requires mailing as well)  Be firm, be fair, and follow the law.  DON'T have your mother discuss anything -- it could bind you to it or you could be held liable for anything she says.  She can -- deliver the notice and pick up a check-- nothing else.




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Posts: 369
Reply with quote  #3 
I always get the security deposit and signed lease BEFORE I give the keys to a new tenant. Then they need to pay their rent.  I have taken it in two checks, but it's not required.

Posts: 79
Reply with quote  #4 
your only solution is to drive over and post a "Pay or Quit" notice immediately - tape it to his door and take a time/date stamped photo of the posting - give him 3 days to pay the SD - if not ===== eviction
and buy a book on basic LL'ing


Posts: 3,817
Reply with quote  #5 
In some areas you cannot post a pay or quit notice for the unpaid deposit.  You can only evict for unpaid rent.  Check your state laws.   If you failed to collect the deposit, it may be on you. 

If you put a clause on your lease that says the oldest debts are paid first, the next money received goes to that deposit, not to rent.  Make sure they get a receipt that says that.  Rent is then unpaid and you can evict on that. 
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