Tenant won't move out and requesting a Jury trial...

127 Replies

Start the process. Call his bluff. Kindly explain to him that this will put an eviction on his record(he will lose) and you will be forced to take this to the bar. The moment he thinks he can push you around, he will... He is a bully. Don't let him know that this stresses you out. Don't let him know that it put's you in financial duress. Keep us posted on BP. And keep doing the right thing. It will all work out in the end.

As for renting to felons. I think someone else hit the nail on the head... Felons with drug and assault backgrounds.... I don't care. I make them understand up front that I am doing them a favor. It has never backfired on me renting to people with this background(anecdotal evidence, take it as you will) but I would be exceptionally careful renting to white collar felons. Different crimes, different mindsets, and different(more difficult) ways to deal with.

Originally posted by @Rickie Day :

You know what. This just don't sound right. A lawyer doing this. Of course he's a convicted felon. And how he got his license back I don't know. But it just doesn't make sense for him to be that way. His creditibility would fall very short. No one would want to use him as a lawyer. What kind of lawyer is he. Of course he's a criminal. Maybe him and the judge working together I don't know. However I do know it look like he is winning a battle of wickeness. But I guarantee you, you will win the war to the good. If you can hold out. Never give up. I would love to know how this would turn out. Hopefully  in your favor Sir. Wow unbelievable how wicked some people can be. What's happen to treating people like you want to be treated?. Wow are the good and honesty of the majority of people losing ground to the wickeness of people?  I refuse to believe that.

Rickie: I'm with you in believing that the Golden Rule is the right way to live. Unfortunately, not everyone does things that way. I currently have tenants who have rented from me for over 5 1/2 years without even one problem. Back in November/14 I told them I want to sell the property and move to the East Coast and I gave them until the end of Feb/15 to see if they could get a VA loan, as they had said all along they wanted first refusal if I ever wanted to sell. Since then, they have completely turned on me. They were unable to buy my property, they have lied about many things, they have threatened to sue me, they stopped paying rent, then paid a little here and there, etc. etc. I have given them proper notice, which is up today in fact and I have not heard a word from them about moving. I am prepared to issue them a 3-day notice tomorrow and let them learn the hard way when the Sheriff arrives to lock them out. Hard to believe after all those years of a flawless rental! Ironically, they are my last tenants after a run of nearly 40 years...this will serve as a good reminder should I ever get the urge to be a landlord again!

Originally posted by @Brett Pedigo :

@Maggie Tasseron, thanks for that! I figured desperate measures for desperate times. I appreciate the guidance here! 

 Hi Brett: There are desperate measures indeed, but they do need to be taken within the scope of the law. You're welcome, and I'm happy you're learning these things before you make any mistakes that could buy you a lot of trouble. :-)

Originally posted by @Erica Nagle :
Okay I have to admit I'm disappointed in those advising you to pay him off or give him cash for keys. We as landlords need to band together and stop this kind of crap from happening. Unfortunately the laws cater to the least likely scenario trying to protect those that may have lost their job and have kids that will starve or freeze if you kick them out and this allows a-holes like this dude to take complete advantage of you and the system.

I say fight this and like Rob Beland said, why do you need a lawyer? So far he owes you under $5,000 so you could take him to small claims court. That's not the first item of business tho. Have you served him the 14 day (or maybe it's shorter since he's so far behind) to quit paperwork? If you haven't, do it ASAP. If he doesn't move out after the 14 days then you simply go to the courthouse and file the next step which leads to a Sheriff serving them with an eviction notice. Follow the process from there and you'll likely end up with a company that specializes in evictions taking his stuff out of your house. You can also ruin his credit by filing something (anyone help me out her) that will show his debt to you on his credit report. Anytime he tries to get a loan they will see that he owes you several thousand.

It is scary that you could lose he place if he doesn't pay you have time. You have to not pay the mortgage for at least 3 months to get to the pre-foreclosure point. Then you have until the auction date to catch up on the mortgage. This is usually a few more months. That will give you time to get his *** out.

Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong on any of this! I have a situation where my tenant hasn't paid rent this month...$3,000. I've started the process. It took me a phone call to a constable (google them) and a fee of $40 to have papers 'served'. This is the only for sure way that you can prove in court when the document was served. Now she's down to 5 days to get out and if she's not out I'll be ready with the next step where the Sheriff comes knocking .

Please don't give in. Nothing will ever change if we don't fight these battles. We work hard for what we have no one should be able to take from us.

 Hi: Like you, I'm not in favor of cash-for-keys but sometimes it makes sense if the alternative will cost you more. A legal eviction is still the best alternative. Here in California, all the forms and instructions are online; it does cost over $200 to file the paperwork, and then there are costs for process servers and -- if it gets to that point -- the Sheriff to turf them out...still better than being held hostage for who knows how long. After that, it is easy to take them to Small Claims; even if you can't garnish their wages or levy their bank account, at least you will have a Judgment against them and here in CA, that Judgment plus the eviction (Unlawful Detainer) will stay on both their court records and their credit report for 7 years. Sometimes knowing that they will eventually be stopped from perpetuating their misery on others  is all the satisfaction we get.

I like the point you make about a grace period in the event that a landlord can't make payments for some time. People just need to check their local laws for how long a foreclosure is likely to take, but that never happens overnight; thanks for  posting that!

Originally posted by @Ronan M. :


I will tell you why he wants a jury trial and move it from suburban to a downtown court. Because he is clever or has a clever attorney. Downtown (or inner city) juries are much more likely to be made up of like minded individuals similar to him.

Think about it. If half of the jurors in anyway think he has some right or is giving the good fight to the "greedy blood sucking landlord" anything is possible with the outcome.

Example...take your exact situation and a Jury trial in Beverly Hills. The defendant will most likely be thrown out on his *** and forced to pay back rent.

Have the same trial with Jury in south central LA its highly possible Jurors will empathize much more with him and his cause.

Think about it again. Would you want this trail with jurors like yourself..common sense people, money loving capitalists, property owners etc etc or the crap shoot of a jury you can get in downtown jurisdictions...half or whom might be tenants themselves and half of that half might hate their landlords as well ??

I believe its relatively common knowledge that suburban jurors tend to be much more conservative right from wrong type of people than the screwballs that can make up jurors in big cities.

I suspect THAT to be their primary motivation for a change of venue to downtown...followed by the buying for time theory.

APOLOGIES TO ANYBODY both city and suburban dwellers by my post and to the fine residents of both Beverly Hills and South Central Los Angeles who are all great people. Am just talking extremes to try to make a point. NO OFFENSE intended  


 No offense taken, at least not by me. The same points can be made about tenants in general; there are different reasons why people rent, but a definite majority are simply people who will probably never be able to buy a property. The advantage of younger tenants is that their reasons for renting are more legitimate, however, they are more likely to abuse or neglect the property, often due more to ignorance than malicious intent. Older renters may have more experience regarding properties, but often the reasons they are still renting can also be the reasons why they may eventually fall behind on rent; also, many of them have had the time to become savvy about the loopholes that cause us landlords the most major headaches. This is not a business for the faint of heart, and after almost 40 years of weathering the storms, I am getting out of the landlord business and will just flip from now on; wish I had decided that a long time ago, but then again, maybe I'll just write a book one of these days...

I agree with Joshua Woolls.  Call his bluff and start the eviction process.  Will he ride out these legal issues and continue with the process?  He already has a bad rep within the legal community in which he works for.  He's a felon and it sounds like he went through a nasty divorce.  I am sure word is getting around with judges and other lawyers.  This will hurt is professional rep.  How good of a lawyer can he be if the wife has his house?  Call his bluff.  He might think because you know he's a lawyer scares you.  Once you take action he may think twice to try to save some of his rep and give in.  But then again he may not care at this point.  Dot every I and cross every T with the eviction process.  Who knows, if he pushes the legal process and goes in front of a judge, the judge might know he's scum and rule more in your favor.  Good luck!  Thanks for sharing your story.  It puts things in perspective for me.  Confirmation for me to fund my vacancy account and to double check back ground checks.  I have a court clerk living in one of my units.  She's been there for years.  Luckily she a good tenant.  I do handle everything by the book with her knowing that she works for the court system.

Why would you rent to a lawyer? If it is legal in Ohio put a clause in your lease about no jury trials. That won't help you now though. I guess this is your first professional tenant? No matter how many horror stories you hear you can't truly appreciate how bad it is to have a professional tenant in one of your houses. It's not just the money and time wasted either. It will take a toll on you mentally. Just try not to take it personally and you will suffer less. You will still suffer a lot but  it will be less than if you take it personally.

Also I feel stupid saying this because it is so obvious but get a great lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant law. not just real estate law but landlord-tenant law specifically. It might seem expensive but it will be cheaper then not having one.

I don't know for sure if this is true but another landlord once told me that he has a question on his applications that says "Name of your lawyer____________________. And when anybody answers it he finds a reason not to rent to them.

@Chris Reynolds

Wow, sorry to hear you are going through this. Thanks for sharing, I have learned a lot from reading this thread.

I am amazed that police and animal control won't help with the German Shepards. I think at some point I added a clause to our lease about how a situation with a dangerous pet would be handled after a tenant say her dog would attack if she wasn't home.

Some additional reading on jury trial waivers I found:


For anyone reading this thread in IL, really important reading for anyone in IL, long story short some good ideas found in this thread are not enforceable in IL and if you attempt to within the City of Chicago, you could end up owning 2 months rent in penalties to the tenant:


several thoughts:

1.  he's going to try and hustle as much free rent as he can get out of you.  his goal is to tie this up in the legal system and hope that you have an attorney who is not very skilled in eviction law.  

2.  you need an attorney who specializes in evictions and has done trials.  this will also keep costs down since an attorney who specializes will charge flat fees for the steps, not hourly.  

3.  he cannot live for free while case is pending.  in illinois, a defense attorney's first act is to stall the case with a jury demand.  at that point, landlord's attorney will file a motion for use and occupancy, which will either get him out or paying you back and current rent while case is being resolved.  this motion will be heard by the judge much quicker than the eventual trial date. 

4.  in illinois, you cannot ask a tenant to waive his due process by including a clause in your lease that waives the tenant's right to a trial.  

5.  do not enter the unit!  that is an absolute recipe for disaster!

6.  you're not going to get him disbarred.  being evicted is not a crime, and he will be filing all kinds of countersuits.  the way that chicago defense attorneys work is that they throw as many counterclaims as possible at landlords, hoping to get one to stick.  95% of them are B.S.

7.  i have done 2 trials against former tenants.  defense attorneys ALWAYS drop the jury demand and both parties agree to a bench trial.  judges give these trials maybe 1-2 hours max.  it is swift justice.  

8.  i would not contact him any more.  

Been there done that, not with a lawyer but with tenets who know how to play the system.

They are called professional renters, and that's what he's doing, He's going to stay there as long as possible with out paying rent and is putting the money in his pocket at your expense and doesn't give a rats "BEEP" if you lose the house or end up in the street.

He has declared war on you, your family,your money and your life, Get a bull dog of a lawyer who take pride in the profession, go after eviction,judgment for all back rent,late fees,court costs,filing fees anything you can attach. When you have him served you also have him served with a non trespass effective the date he leave's or is removed.

Remember he started it and refused to be respectful to your offer, get a lawyer and go all the way to the judgment no matter the cost, this kind of stuff can not be tolerated.

The judgment will be attached to him for ever, and as a "lawyer" he will never get in a good law firm with that tied around his neck.

Again he started it, you finish it.

Vengeance is mine says the lord.

I had an attorney about 15 years ago who handled a lawsuit we were dragged into after we purchased a property.  He did a good job and got it settled.  He told me he gets better settlements because early in his career he never settled but took all to court and everyone he us up against knows it.  Your tenant will not take cash and keys he is looking to get bigger $ from deeper pockets in the long run.

File the  UD case in court, then contact the ex wife and let her know aboout your case.  The enemy of my enemy is my friend

What a POS human being. Some things never cease to amaze me and the fact that the laws aren't better after decades of this is crazy..  Someone who does not pay rent is stealing and should be treated as such without delay.... I'm sure he would be pissed if his clients (if he has any) refused to pay him after he did work for them. Landlord ing is a business and he's refusing to pay after providing him with a service.... What a shame.......  I am an investor in Ohio I hope I never get one that bad......

Originally posted by @Chris Reynolds :


I figured if he had his license reinstated and was honest and upfront plus had cash and a good job why not give him a chance....

Giving bad tenant a chance ... that's the problem. I was tempted to do so a number of time, and has done so once. I learned the hard way! 

And this might be discriminating, but I won't rent to any lawyer. The risk of getting sued is too high (i.e. it costs the lawyer nothing, and will cost you a lot of lawyer fee). 

If it were me I would find out what law firm he is with or the name of his law firm if he is the owner. Then I would go on every social media out there, such as Facebook, and totally destroy his reputation with facts. I would agree to cancel all social media comments only after he agrees to move out. Hit him in his pocketbook since he's not worried about much else. 

You could also get the right characters to scare the s__t out of him. There are many creative ways to do this that do not put you in jeopardy of the law. 

Sorry, but I'm an old timer who just doesn't hold to the politically correct crap that permeates our judicial system these days. Following politically correct crap laws will get you absolutely nowhere. Nobody in our government or in our judicial system cares about anything anymore. There are no morals or ethics around anymore. They are doing a job for a paycheck and that's it. The lunatics have taken over and are running the asylum. 

I remember reading a similar thread here on BP where a young gal decided to overstay her lease, knowing that it would take several months for the landlord to evict her.

The landlord showed up one Saturday AM (early) with two burly, unshaven men and announced to her "You are correct that it will take several months to evict YOU.  It will also take several months to evict these two.  Meet your NEW ROOMMATES."

She decided to move out that morning.

Since this is a lease issue instead of an ownership issue, the overstaying tenant cannot claim that he has a higher or better claim to the leased property if you tried this approach.  perhaps even having a signed lease ready to show.

NO LEGAL ADVICE.  Consult an attorney where appropriate.

Depending on your lease, and specific state statutes, you may have a clause in there waiving a jury trial. That may help you. Unfortunately, it's a common theme that housing courts are backed-up (and courts in general), so even if you have the waiver of a jury trial, it still may take some months to come to a conclusion. 

I would definitely seek counsel of your own and explore your options. For example, hopefully you have a provision in the lease to recoup costs and reasonable attorneys' fees as a result of commencing an action against the tenant (usually reserved for the prevailing party). It's always best in these situations to make sure you create a 'paper trail' of the communications between you and the tenant, as it may be admissible to the court, depending on the your state's specific statutes and court rules, which I am unfamiliar with.

This answer is not a substitute for professional legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice. You should most definitely consult your own legal counsel here. 

Originally posted by @Jassem A. :

I have this clause in my lease which might protect from this scenario:

WAIVER OF RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY. Both Landlord and Tenant hereby waive the right to trial by jury in any action, proceeding or counterclaim brought by either party against the other arising out of or in any way related to this Lease.

I think if you pursue an eviction and explain to the judge what is going on then it might not take as long as you think

 Won't stand up in court.  http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1258748.html

Originally posted by @Brett Schulte :
Originally posted by @George Despotopoulos:

Depending on your lease, and specific state statutes, you may have a clause in there waiving a jury trial. That may help you.

That wouldn't hold up in court.  http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1258748.html

 Does that decision apply to New York courts?

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here