How do I collect from now-gone tenant's back rent payments?

3 Replies

Tenant was giving me the run-around for September's rent. I was a nice guy land-lord and agreed to collect September (+ late fee) plus October's rent at the same time October's rent was due. Bad idea. October came and went and I saw neither payment. I got them to sign a notarized document explaining they owed September + late fee, October + late fee, early lease termination fee and that they would forfeit their Security Deposit. They also agreed to move out willingly (didn't have to formally evict) so I have a new tenant in the unit now, although took a partial month hit with no tenant. The notarized document clearly states that if the owed money is not paid by 12/31/2014 that "legal action" will be taken, however I would not want it to come to this. Are there any suggestions out there on how to get the money from the past tenants with the least hassle possible (aka avoid legal action)?

You can hire a collection agency to go after them.  Only other way I could think of would be to get a judgment against them which involves going to court.  Probably not worth throwing good money after bad.

I would just chalk it up as "tuition". Part of the cost of learning to be a landlord. Now you know to take action immediately next time a tenant is late and not let them slide till the next payment. 

If you really want to learn the court process on getting a small claims judgement so you will be familiar with it them, this would be a good opportunity to learn. But if you're going to pursue with the hopes of actually getting the money owed to you then there is a high chance that you would be wasting your time. 

Get a judgment, then garnish wages, state tax returns (if applicable), and send a court officer to seize personal property.

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