Should I seek professional help (attorney)?

7 Replies

I have a tenant that moved in August of this year.  She paid her deposit and rent up front.  My problem was I did not screen properly.  Now for the month of September I only received a partial rent.  In October I received a payment on the 19th (which is considered late after the 5th of the month).  I received her payment from an agency that help people wit their rent.  I sort of feel that this is her MO.  I tried to contact her by both phone calls, text messages and certified letters.  With no response from her at all to tell me when she was going to pay the balance.  Finally I sent another certified letter and told her that if she doesn't pay the balance of October's rent ($600) that I would not be accepting her November's rent.  Miraculously she finally contacted me.  You won't believe this woman called with complaints about things that needed to be fixed.  She said she tried to fix them herself and she did not want to bother me.  The nerve!!! She told me she would send me something on Saturday and then pay for November's rent.  I told her if I didn't receive the November rent then I would start eviction process.  Missy told me she knows the law and you can't eviction her for only one month's rent if the month is not up yet.  This leads me to believe this woman has done this before.  Should I seek professional help or what?? I'm really getting tired of her already and it's only been 2 months.  I sent her a text telling her to put everything down that was wrong in case this woman tries to escrow her money.  Help!!!

Start the eviction process immediately with a lawyer.
In the future consider getting a property management company if you don’t know how to screen tenants properly.
Even by screening tenants there are no guarantees but something tells me a good screening would have raised red flags ..

@Trudy Ellison

I am not familiar with NJ eviction laws but here in PA I would start the process. First I would not accept a partial payment.  That is in the past.  You say she paid Partial for September but has paid October.  How do you do your accounting?  When my tenants pay me all funds received first pay off any outstanding late fees, then it is applied to the oldest outstanding rent due.  It sounds like you have not applied any late fees and have applied the entire second payment to the October rent.  

You are letting the tenant dictate the terms.  That is not the way it works, you have a lease for a reason.  Make them abide by it or kick them out.  I have learned this the hard way myself, the sooner you stop the bleeding the better off you will be.

Does anyone know of a good but reasonable real estate attorney in Essex county?

Michael,

My books are done the same way.  She is being charged a late fee of $50.00. You are right the money that I received this month really cleared up September's payment and paid for a portion of October.  Really October still has an outstanding balance of $600.

Originally posted by @Michael Badin :

@Trudy Ellison

I am not familiar with NJ eviction laws but here in PA I would start the process. First I would not accept a partial payment.  That is in the past.  You say she paid Partial for September but has paid October.  How do you do your accounting?  When my tenants pay me all funds received first pay off any outstanding late fees, then it is applied to the oldest outstanding rent due.  It sounds like you have not applied any late fees and have applied the entire second payment to the October rent.  

You are letting the tenant dictate the terms.  That is not the way it works, you have a lease for a reason.  Make them abide by it or kick them out.  I have learned this the hard way myself, the sooner you stop the bleeding the better off you will be.

Michael,

My books are done the same way. She is being charged a late fee of $50.00. You are right the money that I received this month really cleared up September's payment and paid for a portion of October. Really October still has an outstanding balance of $600.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

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

Start here