I have a tenant who didn't pay rent from March. On 3/21 I sent her an email giving her 5 days to respond or the lease is terminated. I didn't get any response so on 4/1 I posted the same letter in her rental door. I was told by the building prop manager that he has not seen the tenant since end of March. Then around the middle of April, new occupants are staying in the unit. The tenant has not responded to my calls, not paid the rent and the unit's electricty was turned off by the Elect. company. On 4/27 I exercised the emergency access because the tenant has abandoned the unit for more than 20 days. As we entered the unit, the new occupants who claims are friends of the tenants came to the unit. I told these people that I will give them time to pick up their things that evening and they can just lock the door behind them after we left the unit. Meanwhile the tenants personal things are still in the unit, beds, dressers and boxes. I then proceeded to go to court to file an eviction (Writ of Possession) and ask for the amounts due fr the tenants plus court costs, etc. However, serving the tenants has been a challenge as her work place hasn't been helpful in getting her to serve. What is the fastest way I can get my eviction going? One of the lawyer said that I don't need the eviction since she abandoned the unit. Do I still need to file the eviction notice to make sure it legal? How can I speed this process as its been weeks and we havent served the tenant yet. Or can I just use the abandonment issue to get her out of the unit?>
State/Country relating to question: Hawaii
I went to file a writ of possession in our court two weeks ago. Waiting to serve the tenant has been a challenge as her employer are not obligated to do it.
Good morning. As long as there are occupants in the property, an abandonment cannot be implied. That's the case even though the occupants are not the tenant on the lease but occupying through that tenant. Thus, you unfortunately, have to get the eviction order to be able to have the sheriff throw them out. If you are having difficult serving them, I would suggest hiring a professional process server or private detective. These guys will them and will get them served.
I hope this has given you information that has beenhelpful to you. If the information seems more general than specific, please beaware that we are only allowed to provide information and not specific advice. If you have a follow-up question, pleaseremember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and myanswers because I may be helping others or taking a break. If you need additional clarification on thisquestion, please do not hesitate to click Reply and I will be happy to do whatI can to help you further. Thanks for allowing me to be of service to you. Pleasebe aware that the information provided here is not legal advice. Rather it issimply general information. All states have intricacies in their laws andany information given is simply information only and specifically is notintended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. This communication doesnot establish an attorney-client relationship with you. I hope this answer has been helpful toyou.
One more thing I wanted to add.....once the tenants have been evicted, a landlord can then file a suit for all unpaid rent and damages caused. Once this suit has been filed and a judgment awarded, the landlord becomes a judgmentcreditor and can have the sheriff serve a summons on the tenant for a debtorexamination. That forces the tenant to meet the judgment creditor in court andanswer questions under oath about the tenant's assets. After the that information is obtained, the judgment creditorhas the power to garnish wages, attachbank accounts, and/or have the sheriff seize other property to satisfy the judgment.
Thank you for your answers... have a couple more thoughts and questions pls. kindly reply.I did change the lock while those occupants are there.. but we left them there & didn't lock them out. they left w/ door open. I did that because of the unsafe condition - there's no electricity in the unit (Electric company turned it off cause tenants didn't pay), and I didn't want to compromise the safety of the building, its a condo. Can I start cleaning up or sprucing the unit while I'm waiting for these process? The owner is now late in his mortgage payments so I have to do more to help him. This tenant has been garnished before fr a couple of landlords. She knows whats she's doing and if she sues me..which I hope it doesn't get to that point, hoping the judge will be in my favor.
You're welcome. While they are in occupancy, you want to not avoid putting yourself in the position of the occupants claiming you are depriving them of the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the premises by being there working on the place. The risk of this is diminished if only their furniture is there, but the people are not. If there are no actual occupants, then you would be safe in doing so as long as they don't show up. They are likely not to show up so as to avoid the service of process.
Thanks for your answers. The Writ of Possession, we are also asking for judgement on what the tenants owe, back rents and expenses. Wouldn't the judge decide on that with the eviction? Last question please,is there a faster way of getting the eviction? If I hire a lawyer, will that speed things up rather than me doing it on my own?Thanks for your answers.
Typically the eviction hearing is separate and distinct from the hearing for the amounts owed. That's because you can't make that final assessment until they're gone. There really is no way to speed up the eviction process. A lawyer would really make no difference.
Lawyer; developer/owner of RE developments.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).