need help tenant refuse to communicate with me

37 Replies

does anyone know what should i do at this point. im in south Florida, my tenant she moved in at April 02 2015 and never make one payment now is about 20 days late on her rent. since last week she stop answer my call or text, I dont know what to do now any suggestions?

Post a pay or quit notice on her door.   Post a notice on her door that you will be entering the property and confront her and ask her what's going on.  If she doesn't pay, start eviction process.  Sounds like you might want to consult a lawyer if it comes to this.

Originally posted by @Darren Budahn :

Post a pay or quit notice on her door.   Post a notice on her door that you will be entering the property and confront her and ask her what's going on.  If she doesn't pay, start eviction process.  Sounds like you might want to consult a lawyer if it comes to this.

 should i send her a 3 days or five day notice? first time being a landlord i have no idea what to do at this point.

I am not sure what the law is in Florida.  I'm sure you can look it up online.  All these laws are very state specific.  It will also matter whether or not your tenant is on a year lease or whether she is month to month.  Either way, you are certainly within your right to evict for non-payment.  If you are totally new to this, I would get a lawyer asap to help guide you through the eviction process.  

Originally posted by @Darren Budahn :

I am not sure what the law is in Florida.  I'm sure you can look it up online.  All these laws are very state specific.  It will also matter whether or not your tenant is on a year lease or whether she is month to month.  Either way, you are certainly within your right to evict for non-payment.  If you are totally new to this, I would get a lawyer asap to help guide you through the eviction process.  

 thank you .   just wonderin do you know around how much does it cost to hire a lawyer? im afraid it will run up to few thousands dollars.

I pay my lawyer 20$ for the pay or quit. Not a lot of money to ensure you so it right. 

Originally posted by @Brian Ky :

I pay my lawyer 20$ for the pay or quit. Not a lot of money to ensure you so it right. 

 you need to pay for the pay or quit letter?  i was thinking to write it down myself.. so should i go find a lawyer and ask him to help me write a five day notice to pay rent or quit letter?

You'll need to hire a lawyer, or learn the laws yourself.

Here is an explanation of the law on the Florida Bar Association website:

http://www.floridabar.org/tfb/TFBConsum.nsf/0a92a6...

Here is the bar association's lawyer referral info:

http://www.floridabar.org/tfb/TFBConsum.nsf/48E762...

They will refer you to a lawyer and your first 30 minutes with a lawyer will only cost you $20 - $50.  Then you can decide if you want to hire them.

I'm not sure what a lawyer will charge you for an eviction in FL.  There are set fees by the court plus lawyer's fees.  I would think you could possibly do it for under $1,000 if the case is as cut and dry as you say, but I am only guessing. 

It seems odd that a tenant would go completely off the radar immediately.  You can at least keep the security deposit to defray the legal fees. 

However, if you are completely new to this, I would not advise trying to do the eviction yourself.  If you don't handle all the paperwork correctly and serve notices at the right time and in the right manner, you will prolong the whole process.  I would google eviction attorneys in your area and start making some phone calls to see what they charge. 

Originally posted by @Sue K. :

You'll need to hire a lawyer, or learn the laws yourself.

Here is an explanation of the law on the Florida Bar Association website:

http://www.floridabar.org/tfb/TFBConsum.nsf/0a92a6...

Here is the bar association's lawyer referral info:

http://www.floridabar.org/tfb/TFBConsum.nsf/48E762...

They will refer you to a lawyer and your first 30 minutes with a lawyer will only cost you $20 - $50.  Then you can decide if you want to hire them.

 thank you so much 

Originally posted by @Darren Budahn :

I'm not sure what a lawyer will charge you for an eviction in FL.  There are set fees by the court plus lawyer's fees.  I would think you could possibly do it for under $1,000 if the case is as cut and dry as you say, but I am only guessing. 

It seems odd that a tenant would go completely off the radar immediately.  You can at least keep the security deposit to defray the legal fees. 

However, if you are completely new to this, I would not advise trying to do the eviction yourself.  If you don't handle all the paperwork correctly and serve notices at the right time and in the right manner, you will prolong the whole process.  I would google eviction attorneys in your area and start making some phone calls to see what they charge. 

 i only got one security deposit and the first month rent my realtor took it. the tenant suppose make her second month rent at may 02 2015. but since last week she stop answering my phone or text message.

I live in another state from the property so I let the lawyer handle it. I am sure you could write the letter yourself, but it goes back to the beginning of this topic where you don't know the rules for your venue. 20$ to a lawyer is cheaper than a possible suit for not doing it correctly. 

Originally posted by @Brian Ky :

I live in another state from the property so I let the lawyer handle it. I am sure you could write the letter yourself, but it goes back to the beginning of this topic where you don't know the rules for your venue. 20$ to a lawyer is cheaper than a possible suit for not doing it correctly. 

 I hope they gonna charge the same here in florida. i never hire a lawyer in my life but i know their expensive .

All we know about lawyers is what Hollywood shows us, big powerful people that crush the weak. Instead think of them as another contractor in your real estate team. They are cheaper than you think. They are not immune to economics and follow the supply and demand model. Good news for you, if the tenant can't afford rent, they can't afford a better lawyer. 

It looks like a realtor took a leasing fee. I'd contact them too. They should know a good eviction attorney, and maybe have better contact information for the tenant. Who screened the tenant? If it was the realtor and you paid for this, then I would pursue the leasing fee. Typically you shouldn't pay the leasing fee if the tenant doesn't last past 6 months or a year in some cases.

DON'T waste time. Get into the place NOW. If you can't, then get someone in there. Even if its a repair man to check the AC. It will cost you much more if you try to learn this process yourself at this point. Don't be afraid to use an attorney, they will save you money. You could also contact a good property manager for your area and ask about them taking it over. They will have charges, but you should not go this path alone. This already smells like a story where you will be saying "It has been 3 months and I haven't been paid. I have the worst tenant ever blah blah blah. I didn't want to pay for an attorney blah blah blah, I tried to save money." This is bad management. 

I don't mean to be rude. I want to help you understand the urgency of the situation. This is how the 3 month horror stories start. Let me know if you have any questions. I have contacts in Florida in the PM world. I have helped a lot of people and clients clean these up. Get it done. Your house is on fire. The clock is ticking.

I agree with Account Closed

Sorry u have to go thru this mate, but u gotta sort it out so u have control of ur property & its cashflow, last thing u need is someone making ur investment a bad experience & putting u back with cashflow & passion for ur REI, gotta protect!

All the best 7 let us know how it goes :)

Here in CO an eviction will costs $300-400.  That include the attorney's charges as well as the court costs.

You need to find an attorney TODAY and get the process started.  You have to do the process correctly or else you'll end up starting over.  So, unless you're familiar with the process, I recommend using an attorney.

Having issues come up that cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars is part of the deal with being a landlord.  With good rentals, this will average out over time and you'll still make money.  But you MUST be prepared to wake up one morning and have to write a $5000 check TODAY to deal with your property.  Cash reserves are essential to surviving in this business.  If you don't have this buffer, focus on getting it built up.

I would also have a very frank discussion with the agent that placed this tenant.  Maybe the screening was perfect, but having a tenant only pay one month and that month going to the agent really bites.  Hopefully your lease is written so that you don't also have to return the security deposit, if the tenant has just disappeared.   Have you actually gone to the property to try to contact the tenant?

I evicted a tenant in Ft. Lauderdale, FL last year, and started an eviction on another before that one. I live in NJ, so I fill out all the paperwork myself (it's online), and my contractor in FL serves it. First thing to do is file the 3 Day Pay or Quit. That's for possession of the property. Other lengths are for possession and monetary damages. Send me a private message and I'll send you the step-by-step process it took for my eviction. Yup, I documented it. The tenant was out in 30 days.

It costs less than $100 in court fees, plus I paid my contractor $20 each trip for a couple of trips to the property and to the court and sheriff's office. Almost always, posting a Notice on the tenant's door will get a response when your voicemails and texts do not. Don't wait another day. The longer you wait, the more you lose.

You can find the Broward County eviction forms here; do not use anything off the shelf or from a "legal" site. 

https://www.clerk-17th-flcourts.org/Clerkwebsite/BCCOC2/filedownload.aspx

today i went to the property at 8PM but the tenant still not there so i left a 3 Day Pay or Quit notice on the doors. if still no respond from the tenant i guess next week Tuesday i gotta contact a lawyer .

I would call your agent and get a good attorney before all your copper and fixtures are gone.  Sorry this is your first experience.  It should get better before it gets worse. 

today i just hired legal ease process service llc the guy charged me total 590 dollars to evict my tenant and i just posted the correct 3 days notice today. so i guess i have to wait at-lease 4~6 weeks to get my tenant out of my property.

I would talk to your real estate agent that took the 1st month's rent and let them know that they need to help rectify this situation since they did the background screening and let this person in the property.  And you need to find a new real estate agent and hire a real property manager that knows that they are doing.  You paid too much for the real estate agent's services and are not getting anything in return.  If that agent is not helpful, I'd consider reporting them to the real estate department of your state and filing a complaint.

Get good knowledgeable help in the eviction and charge at it hard.  Don't take partial payments (like $300 now and pay rest later) because that resets all clocks.  Get full payment with late fees or nothing at all.  I'd recommend just getting a new tenant at this point.

I've posted this before, so sorry in advance to those who think I'm being a broken record. 

When a property owner hires a commission-based real estate agent to place a tenant, there is one glaring problem: How many applicants will be evaluated by the hired agent before the one gets chosen?  Remember, this agent gets paid the same dollar amount whether one or five or ten or fifty applicants are evaluated. And since most people prefer to do less effort for more money, you can expect the number of applicants to be small - and with that, you can expect that the chosen one is very unlikely to be the cream of the tenant crop ...

Originally posted by @Seung Lee :

I would talk to your real estate agent that took the 1st month's rent and let them know that they need to help rectify this situation since they did the background screening and let this person in the property.  And you need to find a new real estate agent and hire a real property manager that knows that they are doing.  You paid too much for the real estate agent's services and are not getting anything in return.  If that agent is not helpful, I'd consider reporting them to the real estate department of your state and filing a complaint.

Get good knowledgeable help in the eviction and charge at it hard.  Don't take partial payments (like $300 now and pay rest later) because that resets all clocks.  Get full payment with late fees or nothing at all.  I'd recommend just getting a new tenant at this point.

 learned my lesson now . I have this real estate agent for few years everything go well until recently also i uses this agent because English is my third language and she speak Cantonese and English therefore i dont have lot of choice 

Originally posted by @Steve Babiak :

I've posted this before, so sorry in advance to those who think I'm being a broken record. 

When a property owner hires a commission-based real estate agent to place a tenant, there is one glaring problem: How many applicants will be evaluated by the hired agent before the one gets chosen?  Remember, this agent gets paid the same dollar amount whether one or five or ten or fifty applicants are evaluated. And since most people prefer to do less effort for more money, you can expect the number of applicants to be small - and with that, you can expect that the chosen one is very unlikely to be the cream of the tenant crop ...

i know what you mean but i dont have much choice because  i bought this property last year without thinking about it's in the really bad area most applicants are low income people so im kind of put myself in to trouble now.

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