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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I gave tenants three months rent free because they painted

Customer Question

I gave tenants three months rent free because they painted the townhouse they were moving into. The next four months, I had to hound them for the rent, which was always more than a week late, even when I gave them permission to pay half on the first and half by the 15th. The lease said rent had to be paid on or before the first. When in the fourth month, the first half arrived on the 8th, and the last half had not arrived by the 15th, even though I'd called them, I told them they had broken the lease and I wanted them to be out by April 15. This gave them two months to find a place. They said the lease had not been broken. What can I do?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 8 months ago.

Dear Customer,

You can give your tenants a written 14 day notice to quit, if they fail to leave at the end of 14 days, you can then file an unlawful detainer/eviction action against them.

This service is useful for landlords that want to "do it yourself" - although if this is your first eviction I really do encourage you to retain an attorney. (http://www.landlordguidance.com/eviction-notice-forms/minnesota-eviction/).

The overall process looks like this:

  • "Eviction" is a word that is often misused and it leads to a lot of confusion, to help, here are the steps in terminating a tenancy:

    Terminating a tenancy-

    1) Notice: The first step in any termination is giving notice, the landlord can simply give notice that they no longer want the tenant to live there (this is usually 30 days, or 60 days, and it can be done for no reason whatsoever, there is no fault, and while the tenant must relocate, they are not being "evicted" and there is no blemish on their rental history), they can give a "notice to pay or quit" (usually 3 day or 5 day depending on the state, and the tenant has this amount of time to pay rent that they missed or move out), "notice to "cure or quit" (the tenant has breached the lease - broken something, noisy, etc. and must stop it or fix it within the notice period, again 3 days, 5 days, or 10 days), or a "notice to quit" (this is a 3 day or 5 day notice that says the tenant has messed up so badly they can do nothing but move out within the notice period - there is no chance to "cure" - this often happens when there is illegal activity on the property).

    2) Unlawful detainer/forcible entry and detainer (this is the legal proceeding where the landlord goes to court and sues the tenant to get possession - the tenant has an opportunity to appear and defend the action, common defenses include improper notice, breach of the lease (such as failure to maintain the property - "inhabitable conditions"). If the tenant answers the complaint, the parties can take "discovery" from one another and get additional information before a court trial before a judge.

    3) A judgment of possession/writ of eviction - if the landlord wins the trial, they get a judgment of possession and the court will issue a "writ of eviction."

    4) Forcible eviction - this happens when the Sheriff or Constable serves the writ of eviction - some jurisdictions give a courtesy notice the day or two before the eviction, others do not, but the end result is the sheriff overseeing the landlord's movers removing all of the tenant's possessions from the property and placing them on the curb, and the tenants are forcibly removed from the property. At that point, the landlord can change the locks and the tenant can no longer return (They have been "evicted").

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you. You gave me a lot of information that I will use.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 8 months ago.

You are welcome, and I do wish you the best with this matter.

Thank you for using our forum, and please do not forget to rate my service so that I can receive credit for assisting you.

If you would like to direct future questions to me specifically, you can do so by starting your new question with "For William B. Esq." and a moderator will notify me.

Thank you again, and again I wish you the best.

Bill

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