I have a small house , not very expensive and a not so good area. Rent is $500 and I bought the house to wholesale it but it was a good deal and the renter has been in the house for 8 yrs. The Oct. payment was late by 1 week and the Nov. payment was 2 weeks late and she paid the $50 late fee. As of this writing she has not paid for Dec. and has not answered any of my calls or responded to any of my texts. I am just trying to get her to respond and work something out and have told her. I even sent her a letter, but nothing. I have no idea of the eviction process in this area and need to learn. Aside of hiring an attorney can someone provide the best approach or guidance on this possible eviction?
If this is your first eviction, you should definitely consider consulting an attorney first but here is a link to some Missouri statutes as well as a link to a site that sells eviction kits if you really need to do it yourself.
First, as a landlord, you need to have a policy in place and follow it to the letter EVERY time. Otherwise you will get burned on more than 1 month's rent because the process is 21-30 days as it is. The longer you wait to start the process, the longer it takes.
You will need to know specifics for your area, but the County Justice Court website should be able to show you exactly what to do, and may even provide the forms for you to fill out. While I can't speak to your area, I can give you my process here in AZ so you get the general idea of what happens.
I send out a 5 day Pay or Quit notice on the first business day after the 1st. Sometimes that is the 2nd. At this point, all I have invested is the paper printed, and a certified letter fee sent (under $6) This let's my tenants know that I mean business.
After the 6th day, as long as it is a business day, I go down to the courthouse with 3 copies and file an Eviction action Summons. This costs $61 to file with the court, and I leave with a court date. Then I need to hire a process server to serve the Tenant their copy of the summons. This costs another $45-$60.
Then, I wait until the court date. If no payment has been made by the court date, I go to court with a copy of the Tenant's lease, the certified letter tracking, the affidiavit of service that the process server sent me proving that the Tenant was served, and all of the documents filed in court.
Fortunately for landlords, nonpayment of the rent is potentially the EASIEST to go to court for as there is NO excuse for nonpayment of the rent. It is very cut and dry. The judge will ask the Tenant if they paid rent and ask for proof, which of course there is none. Then the Judge will rule in your favor.
Then, in 5 days after the court date, I file for a Writ of Restitution, which sends the Sheriff out to the property to remove the Tenant (if they are still there). This is great because it means I don't have to be involved in that awful process. If they left their stuff, normally you would have to store it for up to 30 days to allow the tenant to come get it (and pay for the storage). However, I have written in my leases that anything left after they vacate the property is considered garbage. That way I don't have to deal with storing it all.
It sounds harsh to start so early, but if you add up the days, by the time you go to file for eviction at the courthouse and start paying some big bucks, it is already the 2nd week of the month. The Tenant is seriously delinquent at that point, so eviction is necessary as very few Tenants can recover from being that behind, and then turnaround and pay the next month. It's usually a spiral by then.
Hope that helps.
I appreciate the feedback
If your property is owned by any other than your name you are required to hire an attorney.
If it’s in your name you can do it yourself. Go to 3rd floor court house to get paperwork and file it there. Around 40 bucks. Wait about 40 days after they have been served typically for a court date. Go present your case. If you win file a writ. You can file on court date. Will take about 10 days for sherrif to serve 48 hour notice. after that sherrif will contact you to set them out.
This is in a perfect world. If they know the system they will continue it and drag it out.
Hire an attorney. Around 400 done deal.
great, thanks for the info
Keep in mind that the Missouri Supreme Court this past month has decided that tenants have the right to a jury trial in rent and possession. . . so your tenant when you evict could hire an attorney and go to trial, not sure if they have a right to have an attorney provided for them or when the new rules will start being used.
If we are unsuccessful in getting this overturned, expect a lot longer time frames - think months, not weeks and much higher costs. . .
The above is true, but a LL/T trial should only last 30 minutes or less with one star witness.