I acquired my first multi family property in July and it wasn't in bad shape just needed some minor things but the 2 tenants living in them weren't what you would call desirable and before sale i was able to get one of the tenants to leave as they were a couple months behind on rent, This left me with my middle tenant who were month to month under previous owner and stayed that way with me and in September the tenant called me and said they would be moving and that it wouldn't be until middle of October that they would be moving so we ended up agreeing on Sunday Oct 15 being there last day, so September goes by and we get into October she gets a benefit check 2nd Wednesday of every month so instead of first of the month she pays rent then, but this time she has "no money" because they needed to rent a Uhaul to move, and she also said she'd have the money this past Friday which she didn't of course.. and wouldn't you know it this past weekend they didn't have a Uhaul at the property once and i only saw them leave the property with boxes of stuff a couple times, I guess i don't get what my next steps are they gave there notice and the move out day has come and gone they're overdue on rent and they're M2M i had setup a time for a carpet company to come in and replace the carpet this week and I need them out I cant just change the locks can I?
You change the locks and your paying her 3 months of rent plus damages for self help eviction. You need to send a pay or quit notice as defined by your state.
No, you absolutely cannot just change the locks. You need to do an eviction. If you don't already have a landlord/tenant attorney now's the time to find one. Follow the process for an eviction and get it started.
Check the holdover provision in the local law. It's often 2x the rent, even in NJ.
@Codey Staples You absolutely must learn your local rental laws. There is pretty much no place that will allow a landlord to just "change the locks".
You need to file for the first step in eviction. If you do not know how to do that, you need to hire someone *today* to get that process started. We're already halfway through the month. Start legal action.
So far there has been good advice and I am not saying they are wrong but now is the time to weigh your options. What does the apartment look like inside? Have they moved out the majority of their things? Is there a lot left behind? Do they look like they intend to stay for a while or are they just being slow to move out? If you are only going to be a week delayed chalk it up to learning and save yourself the expense of processing an eviction. Does it look like she intends to push it until the end of the month? Well now we have to start moving towards the eviction.
Did you get any of the agreements above in writing? Do you have something written down you can go back to them with and say you aren't holding up your end? If so, I hope it included a section that deals with holdover and the charges incurred thereby or you are probably going to have issues.
Overall I have a few more questions than that, the devil is in the details here on how best to approach this individual. You have learned a powerful lesson, tenants lie, first hand. Moving forward you have to take all those actions into account and weigh the potential gain and loss from this. You are unlikely to get any of the money she owes you ever, people like that don't pay collections and she isn't likely to change her tune and pay back rent, holdover, or repairs.
There is a part of me that wants to tell you to go get the lawyer and process the eviction to learn the experience of it, there is another part of me that looks at the dollars to be spent in that endeavor better used to rehab and find a new renter to cashflow as quickly as possible. In the end the choice is yours but I would need to have some details to tell you what I would do personally.
Did you give them a notice of non renewal or get in writing that they are leaving.
If not your first step is to give the notice of non renewal based on your state codes. You must also a notice of rent owed.
Their most likely move out date in the notice will be the end of November and they will owe October and November rent. You will most likely need to follow through on the eviction to get a order fro them to pay rent owed. You then apply to small claims court to collect.
If they are on welfare call their handler and let them know they owe rent. You may at best be able to have their benefits terminated if you can not collect.
If you intend to stay in business you had best learn the laws.
Thanks everyone for the replies i'm going to start the eviction process today!
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