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My inquiry is on behalf of my son -- he has a rent-to-own contract…

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My inquiry is on behalf...
My inquiry is on behalf of my son -- he has a rent-to-own contract with a family living in his house since 2003. The contract states that they are to make the payments by the first of each month and that they will maintain the house and keep it in good repair.
They have been late numerous times with their rent check, but my son never pressed the issue by charging them late fees. Last fall they fell behind in their rent by four months --- he sent them a registered letter at that time informing them that they had two choices: either get a loan to pay off the balance of what was owed on the house or to get out. They paid the four months rent, but again did not pay any late fees. In January 2012, my son cashed the rent check and subsequently received a letter from his bank informing him that the check had bounced and he was charged fees for cashing a bad check. He again sent a registered letter informing them that they were evicted and he wanted them out of his house by February 10th. They in turn said that was not adequate time to get out, so he extended the time frame to February 29th. They now have enlisted the services of an attorney and in a registered letter to my son, informed him that it was not in the best interest of their family to move out of THEIR home.
The exterior of the house is in a sad state -- they have never painted, the front door is boarded shut with a sheet of plywood and the front porch steps are missing;there is no telling what condition the interior is in --- when driving past the house, there is evidence of a 2x4 unfinished framed wall in the living room.
What rights does my son have? Does he have grounds to evict them? What rights do they have?
Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
2/24/2012
Lawyer: insearchoftheanswer, Lawyer replied 6 years ago
insearchoftheanswer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 57,198
Experience: Lawyer; developer/owner of RE developments.
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Good morning. These people are in default and he has the absolute right to terminate their contract and begin the eviction process. He must follow the legal eviction process to do so. That requires him to first give them a 15-Day Notice to Quit...meaning they must vacate within that period or face formal eviction. Then, if they still have not left, he must file a petition for an eviction order. Once that is granted...he can have the sheriff evict them. He can then file a claim against them for all unpaid rent and damages not covered by any security deposit. Once he gets a judgment for those amounts, he can attach their assets, including bank accounts, to collect that judgment. Unfortunately, he must go through the formal process and what he cannot legally do is shut off the utilities, change the locks, or avail himself of any other means of "self-help" eviction prior to getting the eviction order issued by the court.

 

 

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Please be aware that the information provided here is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information. All states have intricacies in their laws and any information given is simply information only and specifically is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you. I hope this answer has been helpful to you.

 

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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