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General Landlording & Rental Properties

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Hahna Reyes
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If tenant refuses to pay last month rent+electricity

Hahna Reyes
Posted Aug 3 2019, 16:53

My lease agreement with tenant is month to month and the rent has to be paid by tenant by the 1st of every month. But now it’s the 3rd already and I don’t receive the rent from this tenant yet. Today (3rd) I’m going to send him a late rent notice but happen to see him in front of his apartment so I ask him about the rent then he said just use the deposit as the last month rent and he didn’t mention about last month use of electric at all.

My question is

1) Can he do like this to landlord against the lease agreement to use his rent deposit as last month rent?

2) Does he has to still pay his rent plus the late rent fees? (which is late rent payment fees will charge after 3rd is $25 plus $5 late each day until full payment received).

3) What steps should I take to handle this kind of tenant?

4) Do I still have to give him late rent notice or some other notices? I’m planning to send him late rent notice on the 4th.

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Bryan Devitt
  • Contractor
  • Oxford, MA
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Bryan Devitt
  • Contractor
  • Oxford, MA
Replied Aug 3 2019, 17:07

@Hahna Reyes everything depends on where you are but start the eviction process because no, they cannot do that

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Theresa Harris
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Theresa Harris
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Replied Aug 3 2019, 17:07

@Hahna Reyes  What do the local laws say about using deposit for unpaid rent? Some specifically state you can't use the deposit for unpaid rent.

 I would explain to him that you can't use the security deposit for rent (or electricity).  He needs to pay the rent and once he moves out and you do the inspection, his remaining deposit will be returned.

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Hahna Reyes
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Hahna Reyes
Replied Aug 3 2019, 17:30

@Bryan Devitt Thank you!

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Wayne Brooks#1 Foreclosures Contributor
  • Real Estate Professional
  • West Palm Beach, FL
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Wayne Brooks#1 Foreclosures Contributor
  • Real Estate Professional
  • West Palm Beach, FL
Replied Aug 3 2019, 17:32

He already knows he not supposed to do that.....but he doesn’t care.  File the eviction.

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Hahna Reyes
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Hahna Reyes
Replied Aug 3 2019, 17:46

@Theresa Harris Thank you. I will start the negotiations in case he’s not understanding the lease agreement and the state law clearly enough.

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Hahna Reyes
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Hahna Reyes
Replied Aug 3 2019, 17:48

@Wayne Brooks I have to make sure he doesn’t know cuz seems he’s really don’t know. Haha Thank you for advice.

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Hahna Reyes
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Hahna Reyes
Replied Aug 31 2019, 17:38

@Hahna Reyes

Updated!

I end up letting the tenant uses the security deposit as the last month rent. This happen after I sent him the late payment notice and he negotiated to do so cuz he has no money to pay the rent. And we’re agreed on the move out inspection date which he promised to bring payment for electric and whatever expenses he has to pay due to inspection. But! He just called me and said he couldn’t make it and turns out that he has no plan to show up again in the future!

So my question is..

1. Can I move his possession out of the apartment unit? Is it illegal to touch his stuffs still in this state?

2. Do I need file any documents to the court to get the right to move his stuffs out?

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Lynn McGeein
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Virginia Beach, VA
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Lynn McGeein
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Virginia Beach, VA
Replied Aug 31 2019, 17:47

If he agrees in writing he's left for good and that you can get rid of whatever is left there, then I'd feel safe removing it. Most states have a process for removal, some even require you place it in storage for x days to give them a chance to retrieve it.  So read your state's landlord/tenant laws.  Maybe let him know that if he agrees in writing and you can get rid of everything now and re-rent the unit before the end of the month, you'll prorate the rent and send him a portion of his deposit back.   

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Theresa Harris
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Theresa Harris
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Replied Aug 31 2019, 17:53
Originally posted by @Hahna Reyes:

@Hahna Reyes

Updated!

I end up letting the tenant uses the security deposit as the last month rent. This happen after I sent him the late payment notice and he negotiated to do so cuz he has no money to pay the rent. And we’re agreed on the move out inspection date which he promised to bring payment for electric and whatever expenses he has to pay due to inspection. But! He just called me and said he couldn’t make it and turns out that he has no plan to show up again in the future!

So my question is..

1. Can I move his possession out of the apartment unit? Is it illegal to touch his stuffs still in this state?

2. Do I need file any documents to the court to get the right to move his stuffs out?

If you have it in writing, reply to him and tell him he has 24 hours to remove all of his stuff or you will consider it to be abandoned.  You need him to put it in writing and then dispose of it.  Given he claimed to have no money for rent, I'm not surprised at how this turned out.

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Hahna Reyes
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Hahna Reyes
Replied Aug 31 2019, 17:58

@Theresa Harris

Thank you so much for your advice! But he seems not gonna reply me email or pick up the phone anymore. Last thing he said on the phone is you can do whatever you want with those stuffs! I have the voice record of that conversation on the phone. Can that be an evidence to move his stuffs out?

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Theresa Harris
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Theresa Harris
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Replied Aug 31 2019, 18:07
Originally posted by @Hahna Reyes:

@Theresa Harris

Thank you so much for your advice! But he seems not gonna reply me email or pick up the phone anymore. Last thing he said on the phone is you can do whatever you want with those stuffs! I have the voice record of that conversation on the phone. Can that be an evidence to move his stuffs out?

I don't know.  Did he give you written notice that he was leaving?  If so, I'd be tempted to go in.  You can always get rid of the garbage (literally, not his junk) and put his stuff off to the side while you get the place ready to rent.  Then call him from a different phone and see if he answers.

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Hahna Reyes
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Hahna Reyes
Replied Aug 31 2019, 19:24

@Theresa Harris

He didn’t give me any written notice that he’s gonna move out. He just don’t want to pay what he owes me for electric bill and inspection expenses and just don’t try to move his stuffs out. He said he wants to extend the move out date for his stuffs. But don’t want to pay for extend day rent.

Here is another more questions which I’m wondering if I can do or not.

1. Can I change the door locks?

2. Can I move his stuffs out and put them in the basement? Even I didn’t receive his move out notice.

3. If he’s not coming back for his stuffs, when and how can I get rid of all his stuffs by law.

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Theresa Harris
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Theresa Harris
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Replied Aug 31 2019, 19:30

If he has his stuff in there, he needs to pay rent or get a storage unit.  You need documentation. Did he return his keys? Check your local laws to see how long you have to store it-and yes as long as it is in a secure location, it is fine.

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Hahna Reyes
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Hahna Reyes
Replied Aug 31 2019, 21:08

He refused to pay anything basically so including extended days of not moving stuffs out. So I will start to document the apartment unit and check the local laws. Thank you so much for your advices, really appreciated it.