Eviction Update (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Apr 22, 2019 10:45 AM|
Eviction Update (by AllyM [NJ]) Apr 22, 2019 10:59 AM
Eviction Update (by S i d [MO]) Apr 22, 2019 11:03 AM
Eviction Update (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Apr 22, 2019 11:10 AM
Eviction Update (by Nicole [PA]) Apr 22, 2019 11:11 AM
Eviction Update (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Apr 22, 2019 11:24 AM
Eviction Update (by Barb [MO]) Apr 22, 2019 12:26 PM
Eviction Update (by DJ [VA]) Apr 22, 2019 12:27 PM
Eviction Update (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Apr 22, 2019 12:54 PM
Eviction Update (by 6x6 [TN]) Apr 22, 2019 12:55 PM
Eviction Update (by myob [GA]) Apr 22, 2019 1:33 PM
Eviction Update (by Moshe [CA]) Apr 22, 2019 1:47 PM
Eviction Update (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Apr 22, 2019 1:51 PM
Eviction Update (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Apr 22, 2019 1:57 PM
Eviction Update (by Robin [WI]) Apr 22, 2019 3:42 PM
Eviction Update (by Hoosier [IN]) Apr 22, 2019 6:31 PM
Eviction Update (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Apr 22, 2019 7:05 PM
Eviction Update (by JB [OR]) Apr 22, 2019 8:50 PM
Eviction Update (by Salernitana [CA]) Apr 22, 2019 9:15 PM
Eviction Update (by JKJ [MA]) Apr 23, 2019 5:20 AM
Eviction Update (by Vee [OH]) Apr 23, 2019 9:04 AM
Eviction Update (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Apr 23, 2019 11:04 AM
Eviction Update (by plenty [MO]) Apr 23, 2019 3:54 PM
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Eviction Update (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 10:45 AM
So after everyone's good advice on my evicting of a mom and 2 kids (one with mental disability) I am going to court next Monday, that is if she doesn't file some sort of delaying motion. I couldn't afford an attorney because the rental is half my income, so I went to Legal Aid, who will assist only in the first UD complaint pages. Helped a lot. I had my notices way too wordy for the court. They gave me simple forms, we served the Tenant again, properly, and filed. Also despite my protests of not to fill out a huge form for 'Waiver of Filing Fees' I did and got all fees waived so I am paying very little to file the case except all the time, effort, paper, printer ink, pictures, angst, etc. Trial is 8:30 Monday. I was hoping the Tenant wouldn't respond and I could get a default judgement, but she did at the very last minute. So here's my question: On her 'Answer' she checked off MOLD. Yeah, like there really is mold there? She's OCD clean and I fix every little thing the minute I am alerted by a Tenant. First mention of mold and that the house was totally uninhabitable, was her answer to my complaint. I sent her an email (probably shouldn't have) that I coudln't imagine her allowing her kids to stay in a mold infested house. She got really mad, as I expected she would. So now I'm trying to get into her house to inspect it for mold and she's stalling me. Scheduled for yesterday, she cancelled till today. I'm betting she cancels again. Sadly, I found out just 2 weeks ago, after not being paid any rent since January, that she didn't have just one little explainable eviction (divorce, living with father in law and he wanted both of them out), BUT she has SIX. Yeah. 3 got dismissed along the way against her money-wise, but judgements for the significant other she was living with. Wish I knew that before I rented to her. Lesson learned. I need to go to the Central Courthouse to look at records and not rely on my computer where they didn't show up.
Wish me luck, I'm ready with pictures to show the judge, and lots of copies of 'evidence', emails, documents, and hopefully when I finally get into the house, I will find no mold, or if I do, I'm taking all the things I need to eradicate it pronto. Can't imagine why she claims mold, except it strikes terror in MY heart that the judge will say I'm a negligent Landlord. What a mess!
Eviction Update (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 10:59 AM
You might not get in there so who is the last person who saw that there was no mold? Do you have a plumber or electrician or a cleaner or anyone who would witness that they saw no mold? --173.61.xxx.xx
Eviction Update (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 11:03 AM
In my state the claim of mold would NOT halt an eviction for non-payment of rent. The judge would tell the tenant that mold is not the issue we came to discuss at this hearing. If the tenant wants to sue me for having a moldy house, they can pay their own filing fee and have their own court date. We stick to the topic at hand: unpaid rent.
The judge may ask if the tenant followed the correct legal procedure for withholding rent due to the premises failing the warrant of habitability. Most tenants don't even know that process existing. In their mind, if they don't want to pay, they figure if they whine about something then the judge will give them more time. Thankfully, our judges know that old trick and stick with the law. Unless the tenant can show they followed the correct process, it's pay up this instant or default judgment for possession.
So good luck! --173.20.xxx.xxx
Eviction Update (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 11:10 AM
Last time I was in the house was to demand payment for the Trash Bill which was in HER name. She started the account on Dec 1, 2018 and I got a notice of 'possible lien on your property' in MARCH. I called, she had never paid a bill. I paid and she actually reimbursed me cash within 2 hours. Strange since she couldn't cough up February's or March's rent. But like I said, she is so OCD on cleaning, she even cleaned the fridge AGAIN after a professional cleaning crew had it spotless, AND she cleaned a brand new (never used at all) gas range! She runs around with a cleaning rag and vacuums every day, and and and. Can't see her living for one second if she spotted mold anywhere. That's the confusion. I think she was advised to put mold on the complaint because of its scare factor. I now have to prove NO mold or she has to prove mold in court if I can't get in to inspect. Taking the neighbor guy in with me to document everything and I'm taking pictures. I really don't think there is any mold unless she is growing it herself just to make the court feel I'm a bad Landlord. I will use the 'emergency conditions' clause in my lease to enter no matter what. This is an emergency situation in my book. Dangerous, hazardous, horrible mold? It's amazing how many helpful hints there are for Tenant's to 'get' the Landlord, but very few for Landlords to defend against trumped up claims. WE aren't all bad. --68.8.xx.xxx
Eviction Update (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 11:11 AM
can't imagine what this is about. Like Sid, magistrate asks a FEW basic questions of me, last one is "how much is owed?" I answer. She asks tenants if that amount is right. It is as I've already sat down and gone over it with them. She asks them if they have anything else to add and lets them ramble a few minutes (not that it has any bearing on the situation)and then she tells them to pay up or I'll put them out. Out the door we go. Hearings (not trials here) are scheduled every 5 minutes so ... chop, chop, on to the next one. there is very little defense here - it's paid or not paid. --72.70.xxx.xx
Eviction Update (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 11:24 AM
Gee Sid and Nicole, I hope you are right and things just go fast. This gal is a skilled liar. I'm going to try to use that word and watch her explode in court. That might help. Wish I was in some other State. California has some of the most Tenant friendly laws in the country. I'm going to keep a good attitude and hope the judge sees her for what she is, a repeat offender in evictions. I get to state my case first, trying to get it all in order and short and sweet. The mounds of paperwork I have to do is awful. I have to provide the judge and the Defendant with copies of EVERYTHING all neat and easy to read. It's driving me nuts. So far she has no lawyer, but they said she probably will file a 'Shriver' motion and add one at the last minute, and she probably will delay the trial date with several motions. She has before, she will again. I figure she will be gone sometime around Christmas. Ha. In the meantime, I'm 4 months behind on my mortgage because of this. Thank goodness it's a private party mortgage (duly registered with our County) so I can deduct taxes. The guy is a good friend and is patiently waiting for all this to resolve itself and I will pay the back payments later with some added interest. Otherwise, I might have lost my property to foreclosure by now. All because of my Tenant who feels entitled to live for free (while I have to pay her massive water bill) and be nice to her and all that good stuff. Depressed and mad all at the same time. --68.8.xx.xxx
Eviction Update (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 12:26 PM
Remember when you get to court to keep your mouth shut!
Here is the lease, I've put a sticky note flag by the rent amount we agreed upon.
She has not paid the rent since X Date. The total she owes for rent and water is $$$$$.
Stop. Don't say anything else unless asked a direct question by the court. Nothing else matters.
Take the rest with you, but have them in a folder. Most times in court, our own words are the issue. --131.151.xx.xx
Eviction Update (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 12:27 PM
I know you don't think you can afford a lawyer. I understand - I've been there.
Are you SURE you can afford to NOT have a lawyer?
It sounds like you are heading in for the first time, with a lot of uncertainty, against a tenant who knows some tricks - more experience in eviction court than you.
It doesn't always go that smoothly. I had one last year where I thought I had everything in order, and understood the system enough. Tenant said one "magic" word & turned it all around. I wasn't ready with a quick enough appropriate response, as a lawyer probably would have had. It cost me - about as much as a lawyer would have.
Best wishes - let us know how it goes!
And DO NOT go into that house with that tenant while this is going on. Keep yourself safe! She used the "M" word to get you upset. Take a DEEP breath and stay in control.
Eviction Update (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 12:54 PM
Awesome advice Barb and DJ. I plan on not saying much except she has paid no rent since February at $1650. a month as per the month to month lease. I'm hoping she will immediately 'correct' me as she swears that my using her security deposit as February's rent (with HER notice to me to end the lease and move out) after she agreed to let me do that. She is prone to defending herself loudly when challenged.
Then later, she wanted a 'receipt' for February's rent, which I refused since she had the paperwork saying we used the security for the rent. I am sure she had a reason for wanting a REAL receipt showing she paid February.
The mold issue is a different problem. Once notified of mold, I have to investigate and remediate (if I find any). If I don't try to determine a mold problem I can be accused in court of not fixing a serious problem when notified. Catch 22 here. Go there and find mold and fix it, or don't go (easier for me) and have the court ask why I didn't go look when she told me in the court papers. Ugh!
This is no fun As for hiring a lawyer, I would LOVE a lawyer, made appointments with several but all of them wanted upwards of $1500. upfront to start the case. I'm not kidding when I say I don't have any money. I live on just short of $2000. a month when I don't get her rent. It barely covers my credit debts and leaves about $200. for food and other necessaries. I might try to find someone who would do it pro bono, if she files for medical damages for the mold. She's claiming illness and almost calling an ambulance a few days ago. I'm not buying it, but if she gets some pro bono lawyer who thinks he can get mega bucks from me, I'm doomed. All I have is my heavily mortgaged property. Nothing in bank, I live penny to penny. Totally screwed here right now.
Gads! I sound so pitiful. Trying to survive this mess. --68.8.xx.xxx
Eviction Update (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 12:55 PM
Sorry for your troubles. Hope things go well for you in court. As Barb said, don't say to much. Next time you will screen better. --73.120.xx.xxx
Eviction Update (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 1:33 PM
Yea why would she say the dreaded MOLD word--?? the same reason she answered at the very last moment-- cause they know what there doing and you didn't. LL's can't keep waiting for the hammer to fall before researching the WHAT IF's of LL'ing? Perfect example. You sounded like a cry baby concerning the divorces and father in law stuff?? As you said you should have worked harder BEFORE taking her and now you have to pay for it. DON'T cry in court. Business like all the way. Mold-- no matter what-- she wouldn't let me in to see it and this is the first I've heard of it-- judges know the game all to well-- so be ready with your -- as you said-- your honor why would she stay in a place with mold-- and not tell me until we're going to court. Nothing wrong with that. But please no crying over spilt milk!!!!!! NO he said she said only the facts. Short and tot he point. --99.103.xxx.xxx
Eviction Update (by Moshe [CA]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 1:47 PM
" In my state the claim of mold would NOT halt an eviction for non-payment of rent. The judge would tell the tenant that mold is not the issue we came to discuss at this hearing. If the tenant wants to sue me for having a moldy house, they can pay their own filing fee and have their own court date. We stick to the topic at hand: unpaid rent.
The judge may ask if the tenant followed the correct legal procedure for withholding rent due to the premises failing the warrant of habitability. Most tenants don't even know that process existing. In their mind, if they don't want to pay, they figure if they whine about something then the judge will give them more time. Thankfully, our judges know that old trick and stick with the law. Unless the tenant can show they followed the correct process, it's pay up this instant or default judgment for possession. "
Its a little difficult to take the above report seriously, in the light of Missouri Court of Appeals decision No. 25812 [King v. Moorehead, 495 S.W.2d 65 (1973)].
This decision is virtually identical to decisions reached all over the country about the same time, in which a defendant renter pleads that he is not obligated to pay rent when the landlord has failed in his responsibility to maintain the rental premises in habitable condition.
The Mo Appellate Courts said: "We adopt the view that a lease ... gives rise to a contractual relationship between the landlord and tenant from which the law implies a warranty of habitability and fitness by the landlord. Under contract principles a tenant's obligation to pay rent is dependent upon the landlord's performance of his obligation to provide a habitable dwelling during the tenancy. ... A more responsive set of remedies are thus made available to the tenant, the basic remedies for contract law, including damages, reformation and rescission. "
The language and arguments of this MO Appellate case are virtually identical to the case of Green v. Superior Court in CA, decided also in 1973, and is probably virtually identical to a similar case in nearly every state, sand probably decided at about the same time.
Eviction Update (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 1:51 PM
Thanks myob. By the time I get in front of the judge, I will be all business, all short and sweet and just ask for my house back. I won't go into any details unless asked, but I will have the packet of 'evidence' all nice and organized and labeled in case it is necessary to answer the judge's questions.
This is totally scary since she seems determined to fight this to the very end. You see, she doesn't want to MOVE. She wants to stay here. It's quiet, it's nice, it's a great place to live close to everything. (she has no car DUI stuff). She is mad because I asked her to leave when she was so happy. Totally vindictive, but I won't be mentioning any of her 'faults' in court. Just the facts. Here, not paying, won't move out. Period. I will keep repeating that to myself till I get to court.
OH and she just emailed me she is 'running late' and has to reschedule the mold inspection...this is the second time. Maybe she won't let me in at all. Would be nice. I really don't want to play nice with her. --68.8.xx.xxx
Eviction Update (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 1:57 PM
Good info Moshe. My rental agreement spefically states the tenant must immediately notify me about any unsafe or dangerous conditions in or around the house. She didn't of course and is now claiming whatever she thinks might stick. Doesn't make me feel any less anxious, but at least I know I'm right. Just hope the judge sees that too. I'm the first and ONLY case on Monday. Gonna be an experience no matter what. I can always sell my property and move to Tahiti. Some investment company is after me to purchase it for $800,000. cash. Always an option. --68.8.xx.xxx
Eviction Update (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 3:42 PM
I agree with the others. It would take a pretty naive judge to not see through her ruse. If her first claim of mold didn't come until after you'd filed the eviction, it's pretty clear what she's pulling. I've sat in court and seen this tried more than once. The judge just asked, "Did you pay your rent? Did you escrow it? Eviction granted."
I WOULD print out a copy of every communication in the last two months, as well as her refusal to let you in to inspect for mold. Just in case you get the ultra-liberal judge. --204.210.xxx.xxx
Eviction Update (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 6:31 PM
I've said it many times before on this forum...not all molds are hazardous. Did she report the mold to you previously and give you a chance to fix it? Did she have the mold tested to see what genus/species it is? The color means nothing. THere are thousands and thousands of types of mold, most of which are either harmless or merely "allergenic".
Hope it all goes well for you. --99.92.xxx.xxx
Eviction Update (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 7:05 PM
Thanks Robin and Hoosier. Good advice. So this is the story of the mold. After cancelling yesterday and saying 3 today, she wasn't home until 4:30. We (neighbor for witness and I)went to the hosue and I took all sorts of remediation stuff and rubber gloves, etc. Just in case of something horrible. She immediately said, "OH there is no mold now, I just cleaned it. It was only on the 2 windowsills and I cleaned one". I was baffled. Went to see both windowsills and found DIRT. Grainy, dirty dirt and no mold and some discolored aluminum window frames and some chipped paint. House is 1951 vintage. Geez. So after a lot of careful questions, she said, SHE didn't say mold, the relocation company (who paid me the first month's rent and security) had sent her a paper saying that I said to them about the mold and had my handyman fix it. Even more confusing. First I never said any such thing, the relocation people came and inspected the house before paying me the check and found it clean, safe, everything working, etc. The paper she is referring to doesn't exist. I can bet on that one. She rifled through papers for 1/2 hour and couldn't find the right one. She's such a liar. Caught her in several while I was there. BUT the end of our little meeting was her telling me that she knew just how LONG she could drag this out and how long she could stay no matter what. She sure does. This is eviction number 7. Don't know what tomorrow will bring, she deliberately lied on her 'answer' to the court and is now backtracking. I'm expecting to find some 'filing' from her tomorrow on my Unlawful Detainer list that will delay everything or harassment charges on me or some other nasty tactic. Live and learn. Never will rent to someone until I check out the entire court documents for every little thing (civil and criminal). Ugh! At least no mold (except a tiny bit in the tub. I sprayed it with bleach cleaner. Probably gone now. Not my problem. Horrible person out to get me. AND another tale from the crypt. AFTER our little 'argument' about her having to leave eventually because she won't pay, she stopped by and asked if her son could use my Wi-Fi connection for his homework!?? I'm not stupid, nobody gets access to anything computer around here. She wanted the password. I'm beginning to think her problem is more serious than just being clueless and a liar. Boggles the mind. --68.8.xx.xxx
Eviction Update (by JB [OR]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 8:50 PM
Messing around with a deadbeat on a home worth at least $800k... I'd be selling. CA is for tough as nails LLs. Sorta Blonde, you sound too nice to be a California LL. I'd sell that place and not look back.
As for right now, I'd really want you to have professional representation because you are up against a professional deadbeat. She's been doing this too long not to be great at it. If an attorney was able to get her out just a couple of weeks sooner he would pay for himself. I'm nervous for you. Hang tough!
Eviction Update (by Salernitana [CA]) Posted on: Apr 22, 2019 9:15 PM
Wow, I cannot believe all that you had to go through. Please read and reread these posts to give you courage, tips, and insight about how Monday will go. Take a deep breath. You got this.
If you do continue to be a landlord, please do use the credit check on this website. It's easy to qualify too. Anyway, best of luck, and please do post what happens. Take care. --73.93.xx.xx
Eviction Update (by JKJ [MA]) Posted on: Apr 23, 2019 5:20 AM
Sounds like you have what some call a “professional tenant”, unfortunately you have learned the hard way how important screening tenants throughly is. But I’m sure we’ve all been there, (not to this degree maybe). I know you said you couldn’t afford an attorney, but as someone posted, are you SURE you could afford NOT to have had an attorney in this case? I know you said that the monies from the rental is half of your income, therefore it’s even more important to throughly screen prospective tenants. It’s better to have the unit sit empty for a month while you find a good tenant that just renting to anyone because you need it rented and then spend months in court fighting for possession and rent. Good luck, hopefully this will get resolved soon, and going forward you have learned something. --174.192.xx.xx
Eviction Update (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Apr 23, 2019 9:04 AM
I can tell from your lengthy report before you go into the courtroom have someone circle your mouth shut with tape so you don't dig yourself a family size grave of non-related stories,
all you say is --> Your honor the rent is unpaid<--. --76.188.xxx.xx
Eviction Update (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Apr 23, 2019 11:04 AM
I HIGHLY suggest you type out a simple statement and NOT try to remember what to say. Hand it to the judge. I use 12 point type because judges read and talk at the same time.
I am requesting eviction of the resident for non-payment of rent.
The last payment was made on ______.
The amount of rent due is $_____."
Regarding mold: Mold is EVERYWHERE so yes, a mold inspection will show mold.
Me? I buy one of those mold kits from Lowes or WalMart ($8) and expose it to fresh air outside. It WILL be covered with mold after a few days.
Eviction Update (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Apr 23, 2019 3:54 PM
You will not call her a liar in court. You will let her talk and talk and talk herself into a hole. You will just talk about rent due dates and amounts due. Keep the details to yourself. What Barb and Vee said above... no chatter. Professional. Judge will let her dig her own hole. Write a note on top of you stack of papers... SHUT UP! NO TALKING. --99.203.xx.xx
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