Can I make the tenant pay the $150 court fee to file eviction?

3 Replies

Alooooooooooooha 

I self manage. I enjoy doing it, I rent to section 8 tenants and love the kind of cash flow my units produce; I think my favorite part of self-managing is that every time I visit my properties I am reminded of how absolutely amazing my life is and how bad I could have it. 

Anyway, I've been going through the Hawaii landlord-tenant handbook, googling, searching BP, etc. and haven't been able to find the answer to this. 

I have not had to evict a tenant yet, and that's really the only thing I'm dreading to deal with as a PM. Hopefully my thorough vetting of tenants will keep my evictions to a minimum. But as I'm seeing now even after the most thorough application process it's possible to get a bad apple. 

From what I've found, you can hold the tenant liable for all court costs if you win the suit and they are evicted (not sure how often we actually end up collecting, but we can try, right!). But what about when a landlord files for eviction, and then the tenant pays the past due rent, either before the court date or at the court date, allowing them to stay and continue their tenancy. It seems to me that the tenant should reimburse the landlord for the $150 fee that the court charges (in Maui, at least) to file the eviction suit and probably any additional court costs and lawyers fees as well.. but I haven't been able to confirm this. Does anyone know? I know there's only maybe 50 people on BP on the island of Maui, so how does it work in your state? 

Thanks for your input! Hopefully this tenant will just pay his late rent so I can focus on the other deal I have under contract lol But I want to figure this out anyway just for future reference and just know what to expect. 

In Texas according to my attorney it would be a deduction and not a mishandling of deposit funds which is taken very seriously in Texas and most states.  If you start the eviction process and he/she cures the default by paying in full before the eviction is finalized they are still liable for you being out the money to start the process.

I hope this helps and good luck.

If the tenant causes an expense, I charge it back to them and expect them to pay it. If I pay $50 for the Sheriff to issue them a 3-day Pay or Quit Notice, I list the unpaid charges AND the $50 service fee and require them to pay the entire amount or I proceed with eviction. Same with court fees.

By the way, my lease includes a clause for "Application of Rent" that says any payments made are applied to outstanding charges in the following order:

  1. Tenant-caused billings
  2. NSF fees, late fees, service fees
  3. Utilities
  4. Security deposit
  5. Unpaid rent (oldest to newest)

Let's say the tenant owes $600 in unpaid rent, $100 in utility, and $50 for the eviction notice. They pay me $600. I apply it to the $50 eviction notice, then the $100 utility, leaving only $450 to rent. They are still short $150 rent money so I continue with the eviction.

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

If the tenant causes an expense, I charge it back to them and expect them to pay it. If I pay $50 for the Sheriff to issue them a 3-day Pay or Quit Notice, I list the unpaid charges AND the $50 service fee and require them to pay the entire amount or I proceed with eviction. Same with court fees.

By the way, my lease includes a clause for "Application of Rent" that says any payments made are applied to outstanding charges in the following order:

  1. Tenant-caused billings
  2. NSF fees, late fees, service fees
  3. Utilities
  4. Security deposit
  5. Unpaid rent (oldest to newest)

Let's say the tenant owes $600 in unpaid rent, $100 in utility, and $50 for the eviction notice. They pay me $600. I apply it to the $50 eviction notice, then the $100 utility, leaving only $450 to rent. They are still short $150 rent money so I continue with the eviction.

That's how I see it to be too. I haven't had too many late payments, mostly because I only have a few units and because my prior PM experience was vacation rentals. 

Thanks for your input. That's very helpful. I'll probably add something into the special terms on my lease mentioning that just so there's no arguing about it.