Eviction and recovery of unpaid rent

14 Replies

Hi- I have a townhome in CT. I had given it on rent in March 2014. My tenant paid first month rent and one month security by check (not on her name), which bounced. After multiple follow ups she deposited one month rent. After that she didn't pay any rent and kept buying time with lame excuses. Finally I contacted an attorney in Mar to evict her. CT has tenant friendly law. So, she is still in my home without paying rent. I hope within next couple of weeks she should be evicted, provided she doesn't come up another idea to exploit the law and buy more time. What's the best way to make sure her rental and credit history gets updated with this misconduct. Is there a way to recover the money after she is evicted. Any other advice in this situation?

Have you tried cash for keys?  It might not work, but it's worth a shot.  For instance "I'm not happy, you're not happy.  If I give you $500 (or whatever) will you move out and we can just both go our separate ways?"  Some people on the site have had good success with that.  As for collecting that past money, I don't think that will be worth the effort it would take to do it.  Let's say you get a judgment, that doesn't do you any good if she has no money.

If you have a rent court filing, you could probably go to small claims and try to fight for garnishing her wages. However, if her income is from social security, then you can't garnish that, and you might as well just not waste your time and move forward.

Be sure you only accept cash or money order as the security deposit and first month's rent. That way, at least you know you are actually paid when they move in.

@William- I didn't try cash for keys, but she just didn't want to move and she had stopped responding. At that time I had to involve attorney. For recovery of past rent, can I give it to any collection agency? I want to make sure more folks don't get cheated by her by getting it recorded it in her credit report.

@Nicole- I am not sure what kind of filing is it. I had just contacted an attorney who does eviction in CT and he is taking care of rest.

Thanks for your response!

After you evict her get a judgment and turn it over to a collection agency let them report it on her credit file.

Joe Gore

Not much you can do at this point currently. But when you get an applicant, use an online credit check company. Normally about $39. They do an ok job of checking references and will let you know about a history of bad banking habits. In Washington, that credit check is paid by the applicant.

@Gaurav Raj ,

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You don't need a judgement to turn it in to collections. If you don't expect to collect that is the best option to warn others. Contact a collections agency. They will want copies of documents and they only get paid if they recover anything.

Those saying skip the judgment aren't aware of this thing called form 1099C.  You can use it with Box 6 filled in with letter "G".  See link for forms:


Of course, before sending that, you try to communicate you will be doing this with the tenant by explaining that there will be income taxes due on the forgiven amounts and they might have trouble with the IRS should they not pay income taxes.

I always collect rent in cash and I pick it up in person on the 1st.  I had a bad tenant whos checks either bounced or they "got lost in the mail".  When I get a new tenant I collect first months rent and deposit in cash or I guess you could to money order and I had them a receipt every month.

I would definately try the "cash for keys" deal to get her out.  Yes it sucks but will save you money in the long run and she will have cash to go put a deposit somewhere else.

I took one tenant to court and it took 9 months of garnishing her wages (luckily she had a legit job and wasnt working under the table).  Did it all myself without a lawyer.  Its pretty simple to do.

Good luck to you.  We all learn the hard way at some point and time.  

@Michele- Thanks for your advise, I will follow that.

@Steve- Thanks for the wonderful information. Do you know if I can use 1099C while having collection agency try to recover rent?

@John- Thank you for the advice. can you please share the process you followed for garnishing ex-tenant's wages?

@Gaurav Raj  the 1099C is for use when you have stopped trying to collect the debt that's owed. 

Finally I was able to get my tenant evicted from my condo, but I had to pay for movers. Ultimately she costed me close to $11-12K (including lost rent, attorney fee, Marshal and movers fee and damage she has done in house). Any suggestion, what's the best way to get some of this money recovered? 

Thanks for all your advice!

What a nightmare!  So sorry to hear this happened.  What was your screening process like for her....?  When meeting her and reviewing her background did she seem like a solid, upstanding young professional?  I'm new to all this myself, and learning....

Never, Never Ever skip the background check... had a prospective give me a song and dance about how they could not complete the background questions due to identity theft years ago and it hasn't cleared up... I'm sure they are nice people and will be good tenants for someone else, not me.  Got burned before, not again.  

I just used the rentrecoveryservice dot com (u get it).  Not sure how it will work but letters and report to the credit bureaus sound like what I am willing to invest in trying to collect the uncollectable.  

Also, everyone please go through the eviction process... it helps all of us in this landlord thing when we get the background check report.  Thanks and happy landlording.  

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