Eviction Preperation for NH Landlord

5 Replies

Hi BP Fam,

Quick background, my tenant requested to be 2 days late on rent and I had already made the due date for rent the 3rd of the month to accomodate this tenant. My tenant asked if they could be a couple days late in Dec via txt and I said no, I've already moved the date back 3 days. What does two days matter? Not much, and the tenant has been pretty good, they are just starting on a new lease after having been there 1 year. This tenant has always tested me though and I've always been extrememly accomodating so I felt like I would be going down a slippery slope and I wanted to show resolve, and with two weeks before rent is due I felt like they have plenty of time to be working on solutions OTHER than asking for me to make further accomodations.

Well the tenant was not happy. At first they said they would have it on time but expressed some anger towards me. But then I received some follow up texts that I believe were essentially threats not to pay, ever! I called the tenant to talk, we've always had a good relationship, no answer. I called one more time, no answer. I left a text saying I attemtped to reach them and that I'm sure talking would be better than texting. No response.

I feel like I need to get myself ready for the worst. Does anyone have detailed advice or resources for the eviction process in NH? I'll contact my lawyer to get their advice as well and details on the paper work but I was hoping maybe I could get into contact with some NH landlords who have been through this before so I can learn more about what I should do and how the process works.

Brett, by now you are figuring out that no good deed goes unpunished.  (you accomodate them, they test the boundaries)

First, you can get the Demand for Rent and Notice to evict on the state website here:

http://www.courts.state.nh.us/district/landlord.ht...

Second, don't do your first eviction without a good attorney WHO REGULARLY HANDLES LANDLORD TENANT CASES.  There are nuances that can derail your case and make you start all over, even in NH.  What you want is an attorney who will explain the process to you and let you self-help through part of it, assuming you are trying to learn and keep the costs down.  If your attorney doesn't, I can give you a good referral.  Mine publishes a book on how to do it.  

It's been years since I did an eviction, (my screening has gotten way better than when I started!) so I'm fuzzy on the details, plus they have changed a little.  So while some will chime in with the process, I'd still use an attorney for your first one.  If I had to evict today, I'd use my attorney to bring me up to date and handle any court appearance.  My first eviction, he used a negotiation to remove the tenant's ability to file an appeal, which shortened the process and got me $300 extra.  Definitely worth the money.

Hopefully once the tenant knows that you are firm, you won't have an issue, but it may come to eviction.  Here are a couple more resources:

Commercial website selling a service:

http://www.landlordguidance.com/eviction-notice-fo...

NH Dept of Justice overview:

http://doj.nh.gov/consumer/sourcebook/renting.htm

This is NH Legal Aid giving advice to tenants:

http://www.nhlegalaid.org/self-help-guides/housing...

Good luck, keep us posted

Ann you're awesome. I feel like your my RE Fairy Godmother and instead of clicking my heels or something I just have to post "NH" in a forum and you appear immediatly to help!  Ill PM you for that referral.  

How long on avg do you guys think the process can take in NH?

Theoretically, 45 days.  But in practice, it's more like 60.  That assumes the tenant doesn't appeal, and the judge doesn't slap your hand for something you did wrong, and your attorney isn't backed up and can't get to your stuff.  And the sheriff isn't backlogged.  One of the things I learned is you should concentrate on getting the tenant out, not on collecting the amount due.   Trying to get your rent can derail the eviction, although I don't remember why, ask Andy about it.  

Then you can go back after they are out and try to collect.  Good luck with that.  

Anyway, be sure and serve the demand for rent and notice to evict every time they are late.  Once you have three of those, they can't cure, and you can get them out if you want.

Thanks Anne.  After sleeping on it they seemed to have pulled a 180 so hopefully everything will cool off but I'm on guard.   

Excellent.  Sticking to your guns pays off.  Make sure every time they are late (the day past your grace period) you deliver the demand for rent and notice to evict.  They'll know you are serious.  You need to train them, and don't let fear make you cave.  

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