I've got a multi-family property in Fayetteville, NC with an inherited tenant who is a nightmare to deal with. The tenant is breaking the lease in multiple places. One of such violations is they keep dropping renters insurance even though they are required to have it as per their lease for the full time of the lease. Even after notifying the tenant multiple times they never actually get the insurance.
My lawyer filed for eviction incorrectly ,and said I was trying to evict for non-payment of rent (which was completely incorrect). And because of the eviction moratorium my court date was pushed back. On another note my lawyer is extremely non-responsive at his office and I can barely get ahold of him (even after multiple weeks of calling and leaving voicemails). I've tried asking him to re-file correctly but he keeps pushing the meeting out continually. I'm exhausted of this.
Any suggestions on how to proceed?
@Bryan Flores Do you have to have a lawyer file for you in that state? Might be better to do it yourself, learn from the experience. Can't be worse than the results you are getting now
@Peter M. I don’t have to have one in NC, but he’s become more of a blocker because I haven’t been able to get most of the paperwork from him that I need to re-file myself. I’d basically be going in blind. I’ve tried numerous times to even get him to send me the court fee invoices but he still hasn’t.
Geez! Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time with your attorney and tenant! Have you thought about contacting the NC State Bar and complaining? https://www.ncbar.gov/
@Bryan Flores This seems like a complicated issue with more details needed but from what you've said, I would fire this guy and find a new lawyer. Im sure you'd get the invoices once you fire him
Yeah, Sorry about your lawyer... Get a new one tomorrow and definitely complain to the state bar association. At least that's one way to help his future unsuspecting clients.
Also, it seems like the tenant pays rent but has other issues and that you self manage. That may be something you might want to change. A good management company would've been able to get a better grasp on things sooner. As a matter of fact, you may be able to get some good answers for your area just by interviewing a few prominent mgmnt companies in the area.
That aside, maybe try talking to the tenant and meeting them at the "human" level. I have found that sometimes tenants are not trying to be jerks but their circumstances..... and sometimes when I have tried to play "the big company who owns the property" they aren't able to see the issues they cause me or my company. Once I had a property the management company couldn't get the tenants to move out and I showed up as a regional representative of the owner company and they all agreed to cash for key deals. Not suggesting you go that route necessarily but having a human-to-human conversation is worth a try.
@Bryan Flores - I’ll buy it from you.
Likewise ^^ send me some info if you’re looking to get out of it.
@Carlin Randolph , I appreciate the help. I've tried working with the tenant from a human level numerous times and that's when they start with their manipulation games. She actually was just evicted the month before moving into my property (again the previous owner wouldn't give me tenant information as it was "personal information" until I bought the property). Maybe the cash for keys is an option, but they haven't paid rent since April (but that is not the reason for eviction). I might talk to the bar soon.
Updated about 1 month ago
**Adding a larger more detailed update below** @Peter I agree I need to put more information to fully flesh it out.
I appreciate the help. I've tried working with the tenant from a human level numerous times and that's when they start with their manipulation games. She actually was just evicted the month before moving into my property (again the previous owner wouldn't give me tenant information as it was "personal information they couldn't disclose" until I bought the property). Maybe the cash for keys is an option, but they haven't paid rent since March (but that is not the reason for eviction). I might talk to the bar soon.
It might help if I fill in a few blanks:
1. We had a signed agreement added to lease that if they didn't pay by a certain date they agreed to voluntarily move and the lease would automatically terminate. (This was made initially after they had issues paying and we agreed on a solution.). <-- They broke this lease term as they didn't pay but refused to move out. And we both signed this agreement. So they are considered a holdover tenant as of April.
2. They keep on dropping rental insurance after I keep reminding them it's in their contract and they need it for the full duration <-- Breaking the lease
3. They lied on the cdc declaration<-- They didn't even try to exhaust financial government assistance or even try and pay me on time. I know they never tried because the landlord is supposed to sign a form when initiated by the tenant. They aren't keeping all the terms of the lease.
Their last payment was in March.
@Justin [email protected] Spittel I appreciate it, but currently I'm not looking to sell. If I do change my mind I'll reach out to you all.
New lawyer for sure!
That may solve more than you think!
Cases get dropped when not filed right, and if you expect your rights to be considered, the rights of your tenant needs consideration.
It's going to take time.
Your best move, is to keep remarks to legal people direct and on point.
The law and the people who work the law don't much care how upsetting the tenant is.
List the facts and the times violations happened, along with your notices of default for not following the lease!
@Bryan Flores Yep. I get it. I do know that as investors sometimes we loose much more money trying to get back what we lost. If that doesn't make sense, think of the last time you were in a casino, down $300 and stayed a the table to try getting it back. We almost always leave $600 in the hole.
That said, no matter how much rent the tenant owes you, maybe your best try is to offer cash for keys to just get them out. And when you get a new attorney, maybe have them draw up suit papers (just for effect) and give them to the tenant to show you're ready to pursue but you "don't really want to do that to them." Whatever real or constructed bonuses you can add to the deal will be more incentive and more motivation for them. The important thing is to know that you win as long as they move out and you get your own quality, trained, tenants in there.
I hope this helps and best of luck to you. Connect and let me know how it goes!
You've got to stop beating around the bush. If I hired an attorney to file eviction and they screwed it up and cost me money, they wouldn't get paid.
Do some research and find an attorney that is experienced with evictions. Read their reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. Try to find someone with experience, good communication skills, and a battle plan. Fire the old, hire the new, get 'er done.
As for the tenant, you should avoid trying to reason with them. Tenants respond better to professionalism. It demonstrates competency and defends against emotional appeals.
It sounds like your attorney is worse than your tenant. You say breaking the lease in multiple places but only reference renters insurance. What else area they doing? I fear if you try to evict now for a different reason that the courts will think you changed your tune due to the eviction moratorium which has now been extended to July 31st.
If the lawyer messed up and put down the wrong reason for the eviction and they are not responsive, get another lawyer.