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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 16261
Experience:  Attorney experienced in Landlord-Tenant Law.
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I own a rental house in Alabama. The current tenant is a

Customer Question

I own a rental house in Alabama. The current tenant is a couple that has rented the house since 2008. They've been on a month to month lease since January, 2014. They both signed the lease. They're currently several months behind on rent.
For a while, they indicated a desire to catch up on rent & stay in the house. And they actually tried to buy the house thru a VA loan (husband's military service) but were unsuccessful. The VA told him to improve his credit and reapply. I would like very much to sell the house, so I agreed to work with them during this time.
Last week, the tenant called to tell me that they can no longer afford to stay in the house. I told them I'd need a 30-day written notice and all the rent owed. This morning, I found out that there's more to the story. The husband told me that they actually have NOT been staying in the house for some time. He said that they began moving out weeks ago and most of their stuff has been removed. He also told me that he and his wife have separated.
I went to the house and found NO damages. Most of their stuff is gone, but there's still a LOT left. I have NOT received a written notice stating that they wish to terminate the lease. I do NOT have a current address for either tenant.
What I want is to collect the past due rent and for all of their property to be removed. How do I go about achieving that? What forms do I need?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Hello. My name is ***** *****

Thank you for your question.

I will be happy to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
What is the amount of rent that is owed?

Are you going to try to sue the tenants for the delinquent rent on your own or are you going to hire a local attorney to help you?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
$6600 and I haven't decided whether to hire a local attorney or sue on my own. I do not have a specific attorney that I would use. I'm willing to do it on my own. But I would prefer to weigh the costs of each route versus the likelihood of a return...
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for your follow up.

Do you know if these tenants have any assets, against which you would be able to collect, if you do sue them for delinquent rent successfully and obtain a judgment?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I'm fairly certain the answer is NO -- no assets. The only way they would be able to pay is future earnings, or possibly income tax refund.
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for your follow up.

Generally, if all tenants did not give a formal notice that the tenants have moved out, then the only legally safe way for the landlord to regain legal possession of the rental property is by filing a formal eviction against the tenants and once an eviction order is issued, the sheriff will commence an eviction and if there are any tenants' possession still remaining then such possession can legally be removed from the rental unit and placed on the curb of the road or at any other place where garbage gets picked up.

Here is the link to a website that has details about Alabama eviction process:

Also a claim for unpaid rent of up to $6,000 can be pursued in your local district court and if the court grants a judgment for the unpaid rent, then the judgment could be enforced by garnishing former tenants bank accounts, seizing vehicle or real estate property, etc...Here is the link to information about Alabama Small Claims Court Process:

I wish you the best of luck!

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Please let me know if you have any related follow up questions?
If not, please positively rate and accept my answer, so I can be compensated for my work.
Thank you.

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