We have a tenant whose lease ended on Aug 31st. They have not paid rent for Aug and now Sept. They have signed a lease on another place but are taking their time to vacate the property stopping me from renting the home. Any advice? I don't know if this would still be considered an eviction because they actually have a lease somewhere else. Any help?
@Michael Antinucci Is there an eviction ban in place where you are? If not, start filing for an eviction.
We do have a moratorium on place but is it an eviction if they signed a lease elsewhere but taking their time to leave and not paying rent? That's the frustrating part.
I would simply remind them that they are being charged for every day their stuff is there and remind them of the cost per day. If you have their new address it will be helpful in collecting but when someone hears this is costing you $xx/day you delay I would think it would get them moving. If not I’m assuming August is already taking up the deposit but if you can get them served this will probably be a default judgement in small claims since I doubt they will show. Depending on how much damage they leave, how long they take, and the amount of lost rent it will probably be worth trying for it. Good luck to you and hopefully they will get out at least this weekend.
@Michael Antinucci Your lease should spell out a per day holdover charge, should be double rent. It comes out of the deposit. You should send a move out instruction letter a week or more prior to move out listing expectations for a full deposit refund.
The lease spells it out pretty clear but with the Moratorium in place for the rest of the year I cannot evict. Letters have been sent in July. If they have signed a lease elsewhere, do I have any recourse beside an eviction?
@Michael Antinucci Absolutely nothing you can do to make him move out any faster than he is planning to. Has he indicated when he plans on leaving? Is he communicating with you at all?
Did you give him a reference for his new place? Maybe give that landlord a heads up that he hasn't vacated your place yet?
There is nothing to say that you can't have a lease on two properties. I would recommend calling your attorney. Depending on what state you are in will depend on your course of action and what you are allowed to do. In the mean time, I would remind him that he is being charged for every day he is not gone. I would also keep an eye on the property to see if there is any chance that he simply abandoned his stuff there.
Honestly, with a moratorium in place on evictions, landlords are stuck in place. Yes, you would need to evict him, unless you have proof he has abandoned his property, or he has turned in his keys so you can trash all of his belongings. The best bet is to speak with him in person first, and explain you'll be forced to file court documents against him. Then, send the same info in writing if that doesn't go well. Then, you simply have to wait. Even though there is a moratorium on actual evictions, can you file the court documents now? The damage deposit is gone for August rent of course. You'll definitely need to file in small claims court for damages and September rent/hold over. And yes, I would file in small claims court.
I simply would not hire an attorney. What are they going to do, other than charge you more money to give you the advice that their hands are tied at the moment. While I really despise this, perhaps a "cash for keys" situation might be in order. Depending on how bad the unit looks, you could agree no extra charges for damages and/or September rent if they are out within the next 7 days. You should be prepared to actually speak numbers with them, and that you will be willing to file in small claims court and wage garnishment if they do not agree to your generous offer.
"Depending on how bad the unit looks, you could agree no extra charges for damages and/or September rent if they are out within the next 7 days. You should be prepared to actually speak numbers with them, and that you will be willing to file in small claims court and wage garnishment if they do not agree to your generous offer."
What Anthony said above is a good idea. Do NOT give them any money until they are out and have returned the keys and you did an inspection.
This would include damages that can be taken out against the security deposit. Take note of the day they actually vacate so you can include that amount. Also continue with pressure to get them out.
@Michael Antinucci the eviction moratorium does not prevent you from evicting in this situation. The CDC order puts responsibility and conditions on the tenant. If you serve them notice to vacate, they must present you with a declaration. There is five conditions they need to certify to. If they have a new property, there is no way they can truthfully certify to item 4 and 5. Item 4 says they made best effort to make payment to you. Renting a new property means they had money and chose NOT to pay you. Item 5 says if evicted they will be homeless or forced to live in tight quarters with others. Obviously if they have a new property already, this is not the case. They are just hold over using your property to store belongings. The CDC order is not meant for this situation.
Have a process server post notice to vacate on the door and file eviction if all their belongings are not out. I would state the eviction reason as "tenant holdover" instead of lack of payment. Request a judgement for unpaid rent at the same time. Here is the list of items, source is the NAA FAQ - link at bottom. I got this through my state rental properties association.
1. The individual has used best efforts to obtain all available government
assistance for rent or housing;
2. The individual either:
A. Expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for
Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax
B. Was not required to report any income in 2019 to the IRS; or
C. Received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant
to the CARES Act;
3. The individual is unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment
due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of
work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
4. The individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are
as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit,
taking into account other non discretionary expenses; and
5. Eviction would likely render the individual homeless or force the individual
to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared
living setting because the individual has no other housing options
Gather evidence now such as text messages and take photos showing they haven't moved out yet (whether photos showing their car at the property, photos (taken through a window) of stuff in the house, photos of their things in the back yard, etc.)
When you taken them to court you'll be in the driver's seat when you can prove they were there/their stuff was still there.