Can I Get Back What Has Been Lost?

10 Replies

Hello Investors and fellow Bigger Pockets Members! My name is Kyle, and I've recently Evicted my first tenants. They will be out of the property in two days. They have been Evicted due to not paying rent, which I have been informed I can go after collecting in Conciliation Court. I don't know much about Conciliation Court, but I would like to get back what lost rent I can, if at all possible! How can I go about filing for Conciliation Court in Minnesota? Do I need a lawyer? Should I consult an attorney? The attorney that I've already addressed on the matter told me that the process is pretty simple and that most people just end up doing it on their own. Where can I start? Does anyone have any experience with this? Thank you in advance for your tags referrals advice experience guidance and knowledge!

@Kyle Baron
In many of these instances you will spend more $ chasing down what is owed.

Many people who flake like that don’t have a lot of money and as the saying goes: you cannot get water out of a rock. You can try it but I wouldn’t waste a lot of time on as unfortunately it’s the cost of doing business

Not worth the hassle. 

@Kyle Baron

It’s not always a waste of time. Not sure about your local laws, but in Ohio you can garnish. So, it depends on the specific tenant’s situation.

I had a tenant stop paying rent and bailed on the lease. I was able to evict, get a judgement for the damages/unpaid rent, garnish and collect the judgement amount in FULL.

The paperwork and process was simple. I didn’t even use an attorney. I had to pay the costs up front but the tenant ended up having to pay it all back via garnishment.

So - if they have a decent job, and have been there a while - garnishment could be an option.

Good luck!

@Kyle Baron  is not difficult to file conciliation court case nor do you need attorney to represent yourself if you own the property as an individual and not in a company. The issue will be with collecting. Your options will be limited, You can file documents that will allow you to go after bank accounts and garnishments but that gets more complicated and he may need legal advice to do that.

It’s really simple, you file at your county courthouse, cost about $70 in Mn. No attorney needed. I think the limit now is $15,000. Be prepared and bring documentation of everything, bank records, eviction, condition of place upon leaving etc. file for lost rent and additional damage if any not covered by damage deposit.

Once you win your judgement the tough part begins. If they paid by check you should have all the information you need, file for writ of execution and the sheriff will take whatever is in their bank account. If they work, file for a writ of garnishment and they will take up to 25% of their wages, unless they make too little.

In most cases if they are evicted they make poor decisions and don’t have a bank account or steady job. If that is the case then use higher criteria next time to avoid someone like that (which is not a guarantee but increases your odds).

I had one like this that ended up owing me $1500 by the time I did repairs and such. I sent them a bill, which was returned because they hadn't forwarded their mail. I left it at that. One didn't work and the other was on disability. There was no way I was getting anything out of them and didn't want to spend the extra money taking them to court.
Hopefully you can recover some of the money, or at least have the comfort of knowing it's on their record for future rental applications that require background/credit checks. It could haunt them for a long time and eventually they may decide to pay it.

@Kyle Baron you mention that they aren't out of the place yet, along with back rent I suspect you will also have cleaning and other fees you will not be reimbursed for.  You will want to make sure to get your security deposit note out on time along with a note letting them know they can't use their deposit to cover the last month of rent.  If you are unsure of your responsibilities I would read the MN AG landlord and tenant responsibilities guide.

Most of the people you are likely to go after do not have a means to pay unless forced.  I recently had someone move out owing a month of rent and leaving without notice.  In that instance I was happy I didn't have to evict them and that unit was prime for updates anyways so I felt it wasn't worth the time to go after them for cleaning or other charges.  Time is money, having to pay an attorney or having to take time off to head to court is definitely something I am looking to avoid.

Another factor to consider....think about the next landlord.......anything you can do to have an official record of their "deadbeat" status may very well help the next guy in line by giving them a heads up before they even rent to them. As landlords, if we continually allow people to do stuff like this and don't do anything about it, the issue just gets passed to the next unsuspecting landlord and the dead beat tenant just keeps moving on. Behaviors don't change until there is a consequence for that behavior

Its always a balance of ethically wanting to stick up for what's right and the cost of doing it.

"Can I get back what I have lost?"  I've been asking myself that for 35 years.

@Ned J. T-H-A-N-K  Y-O-U! This is wisdom right here and the only reason I went after dead beat tenants in the past. Cost me $200, 2 days in court but I wanted to make sure these people have and eviction AND a court judgement on their record for the next 7 years. Why would any landlord let people get away with it?

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