How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Steven Kincaid Your Own Question
Steven Kincaid
Steven Kincaid, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 2332
Experience:  Experience working with evictions, subsidized housing issues and mobile home issues.
44472555
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
Steven Kincaid is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have an issue with the subtenant that took over my room.

Customer Question

Hello. I have an issue with the subtenant that took over my room. She has not paid rent in full for this month.
She moved in on May1st and was 9 days late with a partial payment for the first month's rent. I ended up paying my landlord to make sure I did not get in trouble (since my name is ***** ***** the lease). When this was going on I researched online, and spoke to a lawyer on this website to learn my rights in this situation. I have not yet served her the pay-or-quit note. I have told her many times that if she doesn't pay I will - and she gets mad and calls me 'pushy'- but I do not want her to stay in my room for a partial payment.. and absolutely not for free. Now the girl says she has an attorney and I am really scared. I have done nothing wrong to my knowledge. I am (supposedly) meeting with them tomorrow... and I am really scared. She has breached our contract, right? She signed a contract to take over my lease for 4 months.. I can still demand a payment, correct? What could she have her lawyer there for? I'm really scared... I feel helpless in this situation.. Please help
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question..
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.
I find it kind of unlikely that the tenant who is behind on the rent has paid an attorney a couple thousand to represent them when they are clearly in breach of the contract...But regardless, whether she has an attorney friend or not, she is in violation of your lease agreement and you can give her a written 7 day notice to pay or vacate and then evict her through the courts if she doesn't pay the full amount due within that 7 days..There is zero reason for you to be scared as you haven't done anything wrong here.. Don't let her get the upper hand by pushing you around and making you think you have done something improper...If it were me, I would have a 7 day notice ready to hand to her tomorrow to start out the "meeting".....thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
She tried telling me she 'had in writing' (text) that I WANTED a partial payment.. but that was not the case.. I asked for an interim payment so she wasn't living in my room for free - I never revealed her from paying the full rent. Is that something she can use? I don't know what she could possibly be wanting to bring up in the meeting tomorrow.. if she shows up.. These are some scenarios I could think she could bring up:
When she didn't pay for the first 5 days I called her job, she had written the number on the contract. And I told the person that answered that she needed to contact me because her rent was late. Then she texted me saying 'I am absolutely not allowed to call her job, she could get in trouble'.. but I was in trouble first... if she doesn't pay it is MY credit on the line..
Second scenario: The girl that is currently residing with her told me the place smells like smoke and weed. I told her to stop smoking in the house and she got really mad at me because he 'can't smoke due to her asthma'.. I don't know what is true - I haven't been to the house since I moved.. Is that something she can use?Is there any way I can get her out immediately? ... This is so stressful.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.
Is that something she can use? .No, if your lease states she owes $XXX as rent, then that is what she has to pay each month...Is that something she can use? .No, if it is a non smoking apartment and the roommate reports that she is smoking, then it is reasonable for you to inquire if it is her or not.Is there any way I can get her out immediately?.No, you have to start with the 7 day notice (which you should give her tomorrow) I see you as having done nothing legally wrong here so she is just trying to divert attention from the fact that she is a deadbeat who isn't paying the rent and keep you from evicting her as long as possible..So just be firm and give her a 7 day tomorrow and just tell her to do whatever she needs to do, but you are moving towards eviction and will file the eviction action 9 days from the date of the 7 day.. (you start counting the day after delivery) if she hasn't paid everything that is due..And if the other roommate reports any illegal substances being used in the apartment, the police will be called and they can deal with it criminally...thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The lease states a full amount for 1575 USD/month I'm pretty sure (for 4 rooms). My part of that is 393.75/month - and she has signed the lease stating that she is taking over my lease for 4 months. My landlord is doing nothing to help - but that contract should be useful for something right? I let her know how much the rent was beforehand and I have written agreements (over text) from her saying that she is OK with that amount and that she will pay. I will serve her tomorrow... I don't know if she will show up or not.. The lawyer thing just really scared me and I just want this to be over.. This is amounting to be the stupidest thing I have ever done. Also, she said she is going to pay the DTE bill for this month. Can I enforce payment from her? The bill is not in my name, but she is the one that has been at the house, and I have it in writing (text) that she WILL pay.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.
If paying that bill is not part of the lease agreement, then no, you can't force her to do so as it is an unenforceable gratuitous promise...But if you don't have an actual written paper lease agreement, she is just a month to month tenant and either of you could terminate it with a written one month notice. Text agreements don't legally constitute a written lease, it has to be on paper signed by the tenant...So you have a month to month lease at worst but it is still fully enforceable..If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
On the lease you are responsible for all utilities.. That is why they are set up for the house.. I am mostly concerned about the rent... I just want to make sure I am in the right - she did commit a breach of contract. I have a paper lease agreement, she is not a month to month tenant. She took over my lease. I want to terminate her if she is not going to pay, and I need to ensure I am OK to do so...
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.
I just want to make sure I am in the right - she did commit a breach of contract. .Correct. I can't really make it any clearer than that...I want to terminate her if she is not going to pay, and I need to ensure I am OK to do so....Correct again. You need to start with the 7 day written notice tomorrow....thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I served her today... She didn't show up with her "lawyer" .. I served her a standard template that I found online (fixed to fit my purpose/date) and taped it to her door.. I have pictures on my phone of the note on the door and I brought two friends as witnesses. I knocked and knocked before I did this (trying to get ahold of her).. Then we saw her walking up the street (on her way to work) and I approached her, she said the money was in the apartment and that she was late for work, she then told me that I could expect payment tomorrow - I then gave her a copy of another pay or quit notice (she didn't seem to care much..) but .. Is that all ok?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.
that is not surprising that she didn't show up with her "attorney" as she was simply bluffing you. So you have done exactly what you need to do..If she doesn't pay everything by the end of the notice period, then you move to evict her through the courts..If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me...thanks Barrister
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have pictures of the pay or quit note on her door, and my two friends are witnesses .. What if she claims "she never received it" - does she have any grounds saying that? I handed to her in person too but from what I know about this girl she could just straight up deny having received that too. I have enough proof right?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.
What if she claims "she never received it" - does she have any grounds saying that? I.Then you have proof of posting it, which is all that is necessary.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Alright! I just need to know for sure... Thanks! I'll give you a good rating.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.
you are on firm legal ground here....thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
after the 7 days, I can summon her .. I'm going out of the country from the 1st of June to the 11th.. Her "due date" for the pay for quit is the 27th of May, which is followed by a holiday (Memorial Day). Can the time frame of this make it difficult for me to get her out? I know it depends on the court house schedule but can I lose in regard of the time frame?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Actually.. I served her yesterday.. so the due date would then be the 28th?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.
Can the time frame of this make it difficult for me to get her out? I know it depends on the court house schedule but can I lose in regard of the time frame? .No, you just have to give her at least 7 days.. You can wait longer if you want..And if you served her yesterday, you can file to evict on the 28th...
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
But the 28th is a Saturday- can I file at the courthouse on a Saturday? Are they open?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.
Probably not. So you would have to wait til Monday. But I don't you are understanding me... you don't have to file to evict on the 8th day.. you can wait 8 days, or 10, or 20...it doesn't matter. As long as you gave her at least 7 days that is all the law requires...If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. ..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Oh no I did understand that .. I just want her out as soon as possible .. And I don't want to lose my window of opportunity. What happens if she pays during the time after the
7 days when I'm not evicting her- or if she suddenly has the money The day after she gets summoned or something
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.
I am sorry, I will not be able to assist further with your question. I will opt out and open the question to other experts who may wish to help. Barrister
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 6 months ago.
Hello. I’m a licensed attorney with 36 years’ experience. I specialize in family law and appeals, and I have many years’ experience with landlord-tenant issues, contract law, and other types of law. I also have written hundreds of legal articles. I look forward to helping you today.Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an attorney on this site. Oh, keep in mind that at the end of this discussion I'm going to ask you to please rate me as that's the only way I get credit for my time here today. Are you okay with rating me at the end of our discussion? Thanks! Do you want to continue with this question?
Expert:  Steven Kincaid replied 6 months ago.
May I ask what state this is happening in?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Michigan!
Expert:  Steven Kincaid replied 6 months ago.
Ok. Once the serven days are up, she can't pay the rent unless you decide to accept it. If you accept it however, the seven notice will no longer be valid.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
But I can choose to not give her any more time without getting in trouble myself? Thank you for the answer!
Expert:  Steven Kincaid replied 6 months ago.
Correct
Expert:  Steven Kincaid replied 6 months ago.
Do you have any other questions?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I served her on Friday, that means I can stop accepting payment on the 28th? I'm leaving the country for 11 days on the 1st .. I will try and file the eviction papers on the 31st and then I leave on the 1st.. Then I'll be back on the 11th.. I don't know when the summons will happen- I just need to know I'm in the right for not accepting payment after the 28th .. And I can evict her
Expert:  Steven Kincaid replied 6 months ago.
The 28th. You do not have to accept rent after that date.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Since she has signed to take over my lease - and my lease states that utilities are paid by the tenants- can I enforce payment for the electric/gas bill and water bill?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi.. So I gave her another chance to pay rent, my fiancé went out there and he was told my one of my subtenants friends that were at the house that my tenant was "sleeping" and she couldn't come to the door. He was also told that my subtenants said she had already paid me $500 not too long ago and she was confused over why we were asking for payment. That is NOT true. She gave me $265 in ($100 cash and the rest in enforced checks) ... She's lying. What do I do about this?
Expert:  Steven Kincaid replied 6 months ago.
You could sue her rfor failure to pay the utilities but that would not be a basis for eviction. Ifr the $265 she gave you was part of the $500 she owed you, you have to file a new notice to pay or vacate.