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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I am a landlord who is having problems with a tennant. she

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i am a landlord who is having problems with a tennant. she is well nehind on her rent,and pays me small donations evry weeek instead. i have offerd her a smaller room to rent and cheaper,but the tennany refuses to move to a cheaper room. she also threatened to drag out an evuicyion process,,,and im concerned she will vandalize my place. what shall i do now? i feeeel she is strong arming me. she keeeps telling me to wait for rent.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 10 months ago.

Hello, My name is ***** ***** I will assist you today. Please give me a few minutes to write a response and identify any additional resources for you.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 10 months ago.

I am sorry to learn of this situation. Unfortunately, unless you are willing to take action (give her a "notice to pay or quit" and follow up with an actual eviction) - she will continue to take advantage of you.

If you provide me with the state where you are located, I can usually provide you with some more details (such as how much notice to provide, etc.), but here is the general procedure:

  • "Eviction" is a word that is often misused and it leads to a lot of confusion, to help, here are the steps in terminating a tenancy:

    Terminating a tenancy-

    1) Notice: The first step in any termination is giving notice, the landlord can simply give notice that they no longer want the tenant to live there (this is usually 30 days, or 60 days, and it can be done for no reason whatsoever, there is no fault, and while the tenant must relocate, they are not being "evicted" and there is no blemish on their rental history), they can give a "notice to pay or quit" (usually 3 day or 5 day depending on the state, and the tenant has this amount of time to pay rent that they missed or move out), "notice to "cure or quit" (the tenant has breached the lease - broken something, noisy, etc. and must stop it or fix it within the notice period, again 3 days, 5 days, or 10 days), or a "notice to quit" (this is a 3 day or 5 day notice that says the tenant has messed up so badly they can do nothing but move out within the notice period - there is no chance to "cure" - this often happens when there is illegal activity on the property).

    2) Unlawful detainer/forcible entry and detainer (this is the legal proceeding where the landlord goes to court and sues the tenant to get possession - the tenant has an opportunity to appear and defend the action, common defenses include improper notice, breach of the lease (such as failure to maintain the property - "inhabitable conditions"). If the tenant answers the complaint, the parties can take "discovery" from one another and get additional information before a court trial before a judge.

    3) A judgment of possession/writ of eviction - if the landlord wins the trial, they get a judgment of possession and the court will issue a "writ of eviction."

    4) Forcible eviction - this happens when the Sheriff or Constable serves the writ of eviction - some jurisdictions give a courtesy notice the day or two before the eviction, others do not, but the end result is the sheriff overseeing the landlord's movers removing all of the tenant's possessions from the property and placing them on the curb, and the tenants are forcibly removed from the property. At that point, the landlord can change the locks and the tenant can no longer return (They have been "evicted").

With tenants that are being terminated for non-payment, such as yours - it is very important not to accept anything less than full payment after you have given your "notice to pay or quit" - if you accept a partial payment, this will end the notice period and you will be forced to start all over again.

I usually recommend landlords issue both a "notice to pay" and a "notice of termination" (so a 30 day or 60 day) at the same time, this way, even if a troublesome tenant such as this one ends up paying rent, you can still be done with them at the end of the 30 or 60 days.

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