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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 29822
Experience:  JA Mentor
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How can I get tenants which I just evicted in August, to pay

Customer Question

How can I get tenants which I just evicted in August, to pay the outstanding rent and the mountain of damages done to the property, when they are all on SSD. (They moved in a 4 bedroom home, 17 people, and two pit bull dogs, which had 8 puppies) I have taken them to court 3 times this year for non-payment of rent. The court held the monies in escrow for March, April,& May, which is the only way I got that money. They have not paid since May 2015. They have done over $15,000 damage and they were only since October 2014. I found out later, that they have rented 4 houses in 2 years, and destroyed them all. This was told to me by the Code Enforcement officer in the town. ( On the lease it specified 2 adults and 5 children. Thank you very much.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

You have the ability to file a lawsuit against everyone who was living in the house and contributed to the damages. A judgment is good for 20 years and it can be renewed. That means, if any of them ever get a job, buy a house, or accumulate assets, you can try to collect at that point. Everyone who contributed to the damage is jointly and severally liable, which means you can collect from whoever gets money first. You could also look into selling the debt to a collections agency - they'll give you much less than it's worth, but it might be preferable to nothing.

Another option is to contact your insurance company to see if your policy covers any of the damage done by the tenants. You can also look into filing a police report for intentional destruction of property, which is a form of criminal mischief. A judge can order them to pay restitution as part of a sentence. Honestly, if they don't work, it could take a long time to collect anything. And there are no guarantees. But you do have a right to try.

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