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rayanswers, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 42258
Experience:  30 years as a Texas lawyer dealing in landlord tenant
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My husband and I are landlords and just had a tenant move

Customer Question

My husband and I are landlords and just had a tenant move out without telling us. They owed around $3500 in back rent. The tenants were boyfriend and girlfriend and we had a verbal agreement with them on rent. If we sue, do we need to file against each of them seperately?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  rayanswers replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you tonight.

You can file small claims here against both in one suit, they were both tenants, one suit naming two defendants.Serve them both and it will be set for hearing.Get judgment form the court and it will lien their real property and you may also seek to collect it.But this can be one suit, save you some filing fees here.Judgment for the full amount here in both their names.

I appreciate the chance to help you tonight.Thanks again.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I file against just one of them if I can't locate them both?
Expert:  rayanswers replied 1 year ago.

Yes you can it is your choice here.They are both jointly liable you can sue one or both.

Thanks for the follow up.

Expert:  rayanswers replied 1 year ago.

If you can positive rate when we ar done it is always much appreciated.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What are my options if I cannot locate either of them to get them served? I've hired a process server who has had no luck.
Expert:  rayanswers replied 1 year ago.

where are you located, you can do alternate service here, be happy tog et that for you once I have city/state,thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The property they lived in is in Burns Flat, Ok so I filed in Washita county in New Cordell, Ok.
Expert:  rayanswers replied 1 year ago.

Alternate service for you here

Service shall be made as follows:

  1. Upon an individual other than an infant who is less than fifteen (15) years of age or an incompetent person, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition personally or by leaving copies thereof at the person’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person then residing therein who is fifteen (15) years of age or older or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process;
  2. Upon an infant who is less than fifteen (15) years of age, by serving the summons and petition personally and upon either of the infant’s parents or guardian, or if they cannot be found, then upon the person having the care or control of the infant or with whom the infant lives; and upon an incompetent person by serving the summons and petition personally and upon the incompetent person’s guardian;
  3. Upon a domestic or foreign corporation or upon a partnership or other unincorporated association which is subject to suit under a common name, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition to an officer, a managing or general agent, or to any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process and, if the agent is one authorized by statute to receive service and the statute so requires, by also mailing a copy to the defendant;
  4. Upon the United States or an officer or agency thereof in the manner specified by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4;
  5. Upon a state, county, school district, public trust or municipal corporation or other governmental organization thereof subject to suit, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition to the officer or individual designated by specific statute; however, if there is no statute, then upon the chief executive officer or a clerk, secretary, or other official whose duty it is to maintain the official records of the organization; and
  6. Upon an inmate incarcerated in an institution under the jurisdiction and control of the Department of Corrections, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition to the warden or superintendent or the designee of the warden or superintendent of the institution where the inmate is housed. It shall be the duty of the receiving warden or superintendent or a designee to promptly deliver the summons and petition to the inmate named therein. The warden or superintendent or his designee shall reject service of process for any inmate who is not actually present in said institution.

If you nail it to door take pics of it, also certified mail here, if it come back unclaimed file the envelope in the court's file.And any unsuccessful attempts should be recorded by the sheriff or person by affidavit and filed as well.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do I need to do if I don't know where they live or their mailing address?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We still have not been able to find this guy. I've hired 3 different agencies to try to track down his new address and no one can find him. We have an address for the main office of his employer, but the guy I'm trying to serve works in the field at different locations all over the country. The main office fought my process server for days then finally gave an address where the guy could supposedly be found, but after the process server spent 2 days there, the guy never showed. I found this article on the Internet. Can we give the papers to his boss or someone at the office?Substituted Service
Substituted service is used after several attempts to personally serve the papers have failed.For substituted service:The server tries to personally serve the papers on the other party a number of times (usually 3 or more) but cannot find the party at home (or work, if that is the address the server has). The server must try different days of the week and different times of the day, at times when the other person is likely to be home (or at work if serving him or her there).
If the server is unable to find the person to be served on each one of those times, he or she can, on the last attempt, leave the papers with someone at the other party’s house, at least 18 years old, who lives there. If the server is trying to serve the papers at the other party’s work, then the papers can be left with someone at the office that appears to be in charge and is at least 18 years old.
The server must tell the person that he or she hands the papers to that they are legal documents for the other party. The server must also write down the name and address of the person he or she gave the court papers to. If the person will not give his or her name, the server must write down a detailed physical description.
Next, the server must mail a copy of the papers to the other party at the address where the papers were left.
The server must then:
Write up a “Declaration of Due Diligence,” which is document for the court detailing every attempt attempt he or she made to serve the papers in person. It should include the dates he or she went to the house or work, times of day, and what the result was (for example, “No one answered the door” or “Party not in the office”). The server has to sign this document under penalty of perjury. There is no form for this, but the server can use a Declaration (Form MC-030). Your court’s self-help center may have a local form to help you with this step too.
Fill out a Proof of Service, detailing when, where, and how the papers were served. The server has to make sure to write the name of the person he or she left the papers with (or a detailed physical description). The server signs the Proof of Service and returns it to you, with the Declaration of Due Diligence, to file in court.
Substituted service is complete10 days after the day the papers are mailed.
Expert:  rayanswers replied 1 year ago.

Yes you can do so here.You submit the proof of service here.This is the best you can do here I am afraid.It shows good faith attempt to locate and serve them.He is probably hiding from you no doubt.Thanks again.