Ask a Landlord-Tenant Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
What are the grounds for filing the motion? And what state are you in?
Did the tenant have a month to month lease? Or did you serve a 3 day notice to pay or quit when she didn't pay the rent?
The reason I'm asking is that the lease doesn't automatically terminate when a house is sold unless it's month to month. If you didn't serve an additional notice when the rent wasn't paid on 2/1, it would be very difficult to defend a Motion to Dismiss, and that could change your options. Under Florida law, if the tenant wins the motion to dismiss, they are entitled to their attorney's fees. Fl. Stat., Section 83.48.
Ok. In that case, you can just file a response that explains why they don't have valid grounds for dismissing the case.
The most common way to prepare a response to a motion is to put your own version of the facts at the top, then address each of their arguments in turn. That way, the judge can easily go back and forth between the two documents. Then you ask that the motion be denied. The request for a hearing usually goes at the end, above your signature and the date.
Call the clerk of the court to see if they'll give you a hearing date before the motion is filed. Some courts do that, but it can vary by location.