Author Topic: Tenant refuses to pay rent  (Read 1820 times)

FiredUp321

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Tenant refuses to pay rent
« on: November 28, 2023, 05:57:05 PM »
I own a duplex in Texas and one of the tenants hasn't paid November's rent. We signed a year contract and in that contract it states 5 days late fee 7 days default. I gave written notice by certified mail Nov 9th but the post office couldn't deliver for signature the first two attempts Nov 14 and Nov 15, I'm guessing they left a notice on the door because it says "Delivered, individual picked up at postal facility" Nov 17th. Does the 7 days start after Nov 17? I filed for eviction Nov 21 and I'm worried it'll be thrown out because I didn't wait enough days.

This is my first time going through this process and I'm not sure if I need a lawyers help. What documents should I bring to court with me besides the rental contract? Can I print out text messages and bring them as proof? If the judge does rule in my favor what's next? TIA

SilentC

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Re: Tenant refuses to pay rent
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2023, 06:05:19 PM »
What’s the tenant’s story on being late?

solon

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Re: Tenant refuses to pay rent
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2023, 06:16:04 PM »
You should talk to an attorney to figure out the exact date. This is something you don't want to mess up.

SilentC

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Re: Tenant refuses to pay rent
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2023, 06:47:59 PM »
You should talk to an attorney to figure out the exact date. This is something you don't want to mess up.

Agree.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Tenant refuses to pay rent
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2023, 11:17:48 AM »
I own a duplex in Texas and one of the tenants hasn't paid November's rent. We signed a year contract and in that contract it states 5 days late fee 7 days default. I gave written notice by certified mail Nov 9th but the post office couldn't deliver for signature the first two attempts Nov 14 and Nov 15, I'm guessing they left a notice on the door because it says "Delivered, individual picked up at postal facility" Nov 17th. Does the 7 days start after Nov 17? I filed for eviction Nov 21 and I'm worried it'll be thrown out because I didn't wait enough days.

This is my first time going through this process and I'm not sure if I need a lawyers help. What documents should I bring to court with me besides the rental contract? Can I print out text messages and bring them as proof? If the judge does rule in my favor what's next? TIA

Most of these things are settled in small claims court, which do not cover attorney's fees. Attorney's in these types of situations are more expensive than the trouble. The rules and regulations are going to be different from state to state. You didn't post any numbers. I'm going to assume rent is $1500/month.

The first step is typically an eviction notice. You the landlord are terminating the lease due to non-payment and they have to be out in 7 days. If they stay past 7 days, you then need to serve them papers to let them know that they are "squatting". They are staying at the rental unit without the permission of the owner/landlord. 

If someone stays at the property beyond the eviction date (squatter), a landlord can sometimes charge up to double the rent while they are squatting. If they squat for 15 days, you can charge 30 days of rent and keep their deposit. If you screw up and wrongfully evict someone, the penalty can be 2 or 3 times the rent. Maybe the penalty will be $3000 or $4500? That's still going to be less than what a lawyer would charge, in my opinion. 
 

Chris Pascale

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Re: Tenant refuses to pay rent
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2023, 08:22:35 PM »
Sorry to hear, especially around Christmas.

I had a tenant who was frequently late, but she'd message me about it and while it sucked to get paid on the 25th or 2 months rent 45 days later, she'd let me know they had a situation and I never worried that I'd get stiffed.

reeshau

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Re: Tenant refuses to pay rent
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2023, 10:09:37 AM »
If you are new to this, I recommend a lawyer this time around.  Take copious notes, ask all the questions you have, and you can feel confident handling it yourself next time.

eddy20

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Re: Tenant refuses to pay rent
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2023, 04:53:29 PM »
Get a lawyer and go after them ASAP! Otherwise in the next 90 days they will be 120 days behind and will educate the neighbors of your duplex that the landlords are easy to con. If you don't want to be the bad guy hire a property manager ASAP. I have 9 doors and been in the game for 40 years plus, all my property is professionally managed, but of course I have to manage some of the managers! Good Luck.

Bamboo67

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Re: Tenant refuses to pay rent
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2023, 06:49:09 AM »
Hey there! Dealing with a non-paying tenant can be stressful. I'm not a legal expert, but it seems like you're taking the right steps. In terms of the 7-day default, it's possible it starts from the date mentioned, but you might want to consult a local legal professional to be sure.

As for documents, bringing your rental contract is crucial, but it could also be helpful to gather any relevant communication like emails or letters. Printing out text messages might be a good idea too—anything that can support your case.