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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33757
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I have a commerical building that has been leased. the

Customer Question

I have a commerical building that has been leased. the renter has not paid rent on time since the lease began. he is currently 1950.00 behind in rent alone not including late fees he owes i gave him a 30 day notice to pay up or move out after 30 days i changed the locks on the building. He has changed them back and said if i filed eviction papers on him he will destroy my building Is there any thing i can do to stop him
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 4 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.

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Does your lease have a "lock out" clause in it that allows you to change the locks in the event of a breach?

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Is there some reason why you don't give them a 3 day notice to pay and then file to evict rather than a 30 day?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I was trying to give him the benfit as he seemed to be struggling so we gave him 30 days to pay or get out and no we do not have a lock out clause in the lease.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
How do i get him evicted without him damageing my building i know i will never collect the back rent at this point but i would be happy just to have him gone without damage to my building
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
We are not in the state at present where the property is so it is hard to do this long distance I have called several lawyers in the area and have not got a response from them yet to file the eviction. I don't know if this is something i can do long distance
Expert:  Barrister replied 4 months ago.

Ok, then just to let you know...you can't change the locks without a lock out clause as that is considered an illegal eviction and could get you sued by him...

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But to be brutally honest, there is nothing that you can do to prevent him from damaging the property if he is determined to do so. However, you could file criminal charges against him for vandalism and malicious destruction of property if he did and have him prosecuted. You could also sue him civilly for damages for any repairs.

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So you will either have to call his bluff and let him know that you will file criminal charges if he damages the property or let him stay and continue to get further behind on the rent..

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years so I can sympathize with your position, but if it were me, I would make it clear that he will be prosecuted criminally and sued civilly if he damaged the property.

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And yes, you can have an attorney pursue the eviction for you and get all the paperwork filed. But you would have to appear for the actual eviction hearing when it is scheduled so you can answer any questions the judge has. You could ask your attorney to notify the judge about his threats so the judge could admonish him that he could be criminally prosecuted if he is foolish enough to damage the building intentionally.

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thanks

Barrister

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