I have to respectfully disagree with @Andrew Pfleger for 2 reasons:
1) If you pay the tenant, you learn nothing; whereas, if you pay the attorney, you learn how to properly execute an eviction, and you gain insight into your property manager.
2) I feel strongly that each of us shares a communal duty to society, and that includes holding people accountable when we have the opportunity to do so. This holds true only more so within our smaller community of real estate investors, where we must look out for our common interests. Rewarding this tenant for being a dishonest cheat will only serve to incentivize more of the same behavior at the expense of her future landlords. I'm not looking to sound like I'm pontificating here, but it's your turn to step up and enforce what is right. Regardless, even if you only care to look out for your own interests, my first point above should be sufficient to coincidentally point you in the right direction.
@Troy Zsofka a duty to society? As if his eviction status will all of a sudden be the correction in the societal downward spiral?
I don’t disagree that he needs to learn the process but at what cost? His livelihood? If he can pay the tenant now, move on in a matter of weeks or less why would he not do that? Verses the process (again) of getting a notice filed, then waiting and then potentially waiting some more... this process could cost him an additional 2-3 months rent or more. (Feel free time step up and send him some extra cash as you “pontificate”).
This is a business. We make business decisions. If it’s good for his business to give the tenant cash for keys he should do that. Because it could mean the difference of him keeping or losing the property. Who knows what the tenant may do to the property given more time in the unit during the eviction process...
I get your point but that’s why we do thorough background checks when we are vetting a new tenant. Ie calling their precious landlord(s)... there is a place for last place of residence on the app and if the timeline doesn’t line up or someone refuses to give me a previous landlords name then “next” move along.
It’s not up to him to worry about this potential menace to society when we all know what we are getting into as property owners and if we as landlords do the proper screening on our end theirs a really good chance we’ll avoid most of this. Not always but a lot of the times.
He can learn the process from inception the next time a tenant is in the beginning stages of an eviction verses having to start all over again after months of lost rent.
Again, I don’t disagree with your premise but the reality is not a reasonable solution if said tenant is willing to walk away this very weekend for a few hundred dollars given that option.
How about get a lawyer? Seems like solid advice. Frankly, what you're doing here seems like some more workaround stuff - hence you had the property manager prosecute the case. It should have been a lawyer from the start.
Apologies for the delay in responses. I can’t keep up with the overwhelming responses individually but thank you so much for the support. This is such an amazing community and I’m truly grateful. I'm taking this whole experience as an education. Many great ideas and points were brought up and I hope as an online community we can help each other to be successful and do the right thing. I dropped the ball and I take 100% accountability on this. I took for granted what I thought would be an easy case and took it too lightly. I'm paying for it so I'm now trying to make it right.
I found out the case was dismissed due to the Owner Affidavit was not submitted. I relied on my PM to submit all the paperwork as she said she’s done this many times. Again this was my first time so I relied heavily on her guidance. She adamantly said she submitted it and said it was a clerical error on the court end and would not accept it was not submitted. She sent me copies of all the documents except the owner affidavit and said they did not give her that. So I’m having trust issues now. I’ll have to deal with that shortly after this case. At the end of the day, I’m the one that dropped the ball.
A HUGE lesson learned. Use an attorney or at least if you can't afford one, do it yourself and learn, learn, learn the process. I plan on appealing and do this properly. Just trying to get a hold of attorneys seems to be a challenge right now. I got one call back from Nashua after contacting five firms. I'm under the timeline on for an appeal so I'm not sure I'll be able to find an attorney on time. I may have to do the appeal myself. I’ll keep you all posted. Thank you!
Best of luck, @Steve Yi !
Thank you for the update as a NH landlord this is all great information. It would be great to have someone do a writing tutorial of how they completed the eviction process. I did three last month on a newly purchased building it had significantly under market rents and had lots of deferred maintenance. I only needed to do the demand for rent and the eviction notice. The first thing I did was to jack up rents with a 30 day notice to everyone. My idea was if we ended up needing to go to court at least the rent that was accruing with now be at a much higher rate. I served the notices myself by banging doors. One agreed to move on and understood the work I was going to undertake would need her to vacate. One was belligerent claimed the sheriff needed to serve him and he was going to ignore me. I pushed back with the water is getting shut off to the building (I am re plumbing the entire building so have fun with no water here is your two week notice on that.) I was extremely rigid with him and let him know there would be no staying for him. The third tenant came up with the rent and we made a plan for her to stay an additional two months working around the construction but long term shes out too.
It wasn't a fun process for anyone but I didn't need to go any further than that. I would ensure your property manager is staying on top of them and ensuring that they know this isn't the end, that your intention is to evict if that is truly what you want. The court will ensure they pay rent but at the end of the day someone needs to stay very much on top of them. Please keep us abreast of the process as someday we all might need this info.
@Steve Yi I have found the State LL Association to be a real asset. It costs about 50 bucks a year, they have lawyers available who know RE law and procedures. Great monthly meetings for networking and very informative web sites. My wife manages our properties and we would be lost without them.