General Landlording & Rental Properties

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Adam Peacock
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New Landlord, Trying to evict an unidentifiable tenant

Adam Peacock
Posted Jan 17 2022, 10:34

tldr; Need thoughts re evicting someone when I don't know their name.

I purchased a Cleveland duplex with two tenants ~2 months ago. Since this was the first of a series of purchases I've made, I failed to ask for the tenant's information during the purchase process -- that's on me. Since we closed, the upper unit tenant refuses to communicate or respond to my new PM wrt their name, lease status or any other detail we've requested to make for a smooth transition. We're now trying to evict them since they don't pay rent but my PM is struggling since there is no names for whoever is living there so we don't know WHO we're evicting.

I requested whatever information is available from the former seller's agent but they don't reply. I requested the information from the agent who represented me and they refused to help unless I switch PM services to them.

How do you evict someone you don't know who they are? Just trying to recover from a misstep of not asking for this information up front.

Advice/suggestions?

//adam

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John Leake
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Normal, IL
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John Leake
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Normal, IL
Replied Jan 17 2022, 10:42

You should be able to serve to unknow occupants call an eviction attorney and explain the situation its going to cost a little bit of money but that's the only way to really get things moving. I feel for you in that situation best of luck to you!

Property Manager

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Scott M.
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Rochester Hills, MI
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Scott M.
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Rochester Hills, MI
Replied Jan 17 2022, 10:49

The notice should be sent to "occupants".  Names are not required.  Sounds like your PM and/or their lawyer is not very experienced in evictions.  I would question why this is news to them.  I mean at one point everything is new to all of us but unless you hired a very new PM this would be concerning.  

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Nathan G.#1 All Forums Contributor
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cody, WY
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Nathan G.#1 All Forums Contributor
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cody, WY
ModeratorReplied Jan 17 2022, 11:06

I agree with the others. Find an attorney that has a lot of experience with evictions. Pay the money now and get this done right.

Start looking for a new PM. You shouldn't expect your PM to know everything, but you can certainly expect them to make an effort to find the answer instead of forcing you to ask a bunch of strangers on the interwebs.

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Adam Peacock
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Adam Peacock
Replied Jan 17 2022, 11:14

This is me checking for other peoples' experiences and thoughts/feedback. PM is working with an atty. Thanks,

//adm

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Greg M.
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Los Angeles, CA
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Greg M.
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Los Angeles, CA
Replied Jan 17 2022, 12:22
Originally posted by @Adam Peacock:

I requested whatever information is available from the former seller's agent but they don't reply. I requested the information from the agent who represented me and they refused to help unless I switch PM services to them.

Sellers Agent: Call their broker. Very good chance they will have the agent get you the info fairly quick.

Your Agent: Call their broker. Explain to them how unprofessional you feel this is, how you will never use this agent again, and how it reflects very poorly on the company and you will be letting everyone who will listen know of the awful experience you had with this company. Unless it is a lousy smalltime company, the broker will have the agent help you get this info. 

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Adam Peacock
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Adam Peacock
Replied Jan 17 2022, 12:37
Originally posted by @Greg M.:
Originally posted by @Adam Peacock:

I requested whatever information is available from the former seller's agent but they don't reply. I requested the information from the agent who represented me and they refused to help unless I switch PM services to them.

Sellers Agent: Call their broker. Very good chance they will have the agent get you the info fairly quick.

Your Agent: Call their broker. Explain to them how unprofessional you feel this is, how you will never use this agent again, and how it reflects very poorly on the company and you will be letting everyone who will listen know of the awful experience you had with this company. Unless it is a lousy smalltime company, the broker will have the agent help you get this info. 

Thanks I'll try the seller's broker. My agent for this deal is also a sizable broker servicing Cleveland so not a lot of recourse with them except the loss of repeat business from me if this kind of response continues.

Again, my PM is working on this but admitted the irregularities are complicating the process so I'm trying to be proactive and see what information I can gather myself. Thanks so far with the feedback!

//adam

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Bill Brandt#2 General Landlording & Rental Properties Contributor
  • Investor
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Bill Brandt#2 General Landlording & Rental Properties Contributor
  • Investor
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Replied Jan 17 2022, 13:39

Didn’t you get copies of the leases when you made the purchase? An estoppel?

Did you get the security deposit from the seller? What if the tenants say they gave the seller a $10,000 security deposit? What if they say they show you a lease that says rent is $100/mo for 100 years?

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Steve K.#2 Tenant Screening Contributor
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Boulder, CO
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Steve K.#2 Tenant Screening Contributor
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Boulder, CO
Replied Jan 17 2022, 20:57

Post the notice to pay or quit (or whatever this doc is called in your jurisdiction) on the door as well as mail it via certified mail addressed to ALL OCCUPANTS. 

Next time require in the contract, as a condition of the sale: current rent roll, leases, and estoppel certificates be delivered prior to due diligence contingency deadline. 

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Andrew Syrios
  • Residential Real Estate Investor
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Andrew Syrios
  • Residential Real Estate Investor
  • Kansas City, MO
ModeratorReplied Jan 17 2022, 21:22
Any good eviction attorney should know how to do this (something about including "John Doe" or "All Other Parties" in the filings, I don't remember exactly and I'm sure it varies by state) so I would start reaching out.