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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36939
Experience:  Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate
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TEXAS REAL ESTATE LAWYER I'm a landlord of a commercial

Customer Question

TEXAS REAL ESTATE LAWYER
I'm a landlord of a commercial property. Property is for sale. I informed tenant that property is for sale, but the new owner want him to stay. Tenant had a lease for 5 years n still have 3.5 years left. On 4/28/16 Tenant dissapeared in the middle of the night n took all his belongings. He also took all fixtures leaving electrical cables hanging from ceilung, holes on walls and drywall damaged since all cabinets were attached to walls. His business was a barber shop. 2 days later Tenant showed at my house returning the key, payment for month of rent(would be mays rent), and a letter saying that he's leaving the property because his business is growing and there's not enough parking space and because the property is selling and he's afraid to be kicked out.
Thankfully, buyer is buying the property, but I have to replace light fixtures and fix n paint the walls where barber shop was. Sell will close on June 29.
What I need to do in order to sue tenant n for what I can sue him? (1 month rent?, damages to property? Inconvenience he cause, I almost lost the sale?) I sent tenant the attached text mssgs. I offered him a deal, but did not replied. I want to recover the repairs, month of rent and all that I went through with the buyer caused by him leaving the rental property.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 5 months ago.

Hi! My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today! It will take me just a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

Expert:  Richard replied 5 months ago.

You simply need to sue the tenant. If the amount is $10,000 or less, you can bring this in small claims court without a lawyer. Your tenant is in default and you have the right to all your damages, including unpaid rent until the property can be re-leased, any costs of re-leasing, damages caused by the tenant, and attorney fees. Filing the suit will give you the collection options and leverage you need to collect the debt owed you. That's because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if he doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on him for a debtor examination. That forces him to meet you in court again and answer questions under oath about his assets. After that information is obtained, you have the power to attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any non-homestead property he owns to satisfy the judgment.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** still feel that my question hasn't been answered. I know I can sue him for lost rent which is 1 month since property sell will be closed the 29th june, but can I just sue him for lost rent or I can also sue for cost of repairs and all the trouble he cause me with the buyer since buyer wanted all the attached fixtures the tenant had? I finally reached an agreement with buyer, but it was a hassle for me.
Expert:  Richard replied 5 months ago.

I'm sorry. I am working on another project for the remainder of the evening and want you to be able to receive a timely response rather than having to wait. Given this, I am going to opt out so another expert can timely provide you the information you seek. Please do not respond to this post as it will only slow the process of such an expert picking up your question. Take care.

Expert:  Ray replied 5 months ago.

Hi Ray here a new expert.You can sue for the rent, the repair costs and loss of sale.You can sue up to $10k here yourself in small claims, if you want to sue for more here you will need a lawyer and seek legal fees and costs.

Expert:  Ray replied 5 months ago.

Small claims you file in your jp precinct

https://www.depts.ttu.edu/sls/forms/How-to-Sue-in-Small-Claims-Court.pdf

You are also able to apply the security deposit to the losses.

Expert:  Ray replied 5 months ago.

Lawyer referral if you want to sue in a higher court.

https://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Lawyer_Referral_Service_LRIS_

This is a breach of contract lease suit here in Texas.You can recover all the damages you incurred here.

Thanks again for your patience.