Eviction tenant left
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Eviction tenant left (by R [OH]) Jul 30, 2020 1:14 PM
       Eviction tenant left (by JAC [OH]) Jul 30, 2020 2:26 PM
       Eviction tenant left (by Mike45 [NV]) Jul 30, 2020 2:45 PM
       Eviction tenant left (by DJ [VA]) Jul 30, 2020 3:14 PM
       Eviction tenant left (by Ken [NY]) Jul 30, 2020 3:45 PM
       Eviction tenant left (by DON [PA]) Jul 30, 2020 3:55 PM
       Eviction tenant left (by R [OH]) Jul 30, 2020 4:33 PM
       Eviction tenant left (by Robert J [CA]) Jul 30, 2020 4:41 PM
       Eviction tenant left (by R [OH]) Jul 30, 2020 5:29 PM
       Eviction tenant left (by JAC [OH]) Jul 30, 2020 6:43 PM
       Eviction tenant left (by Vee [OH]) Jul 31, 2020 9:42 AM
       Eviction tenant left (by R [OH]) Aug 3, 2020 2:24 PM

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Eviction tenant left (by R [OH]) Posted on: Jul 30, 2020 1:14 PM

Hi Everyone,

This is primarily for the state of Ohio but I would love to hear from people in other states to. Have you or would you all file an eviction on a tenant that has left the unit but still owes you money in order to get your money judgement or do you have to file in small claims court to get your money judgement since the former tenant has left the unit. It's much easier to go the eviction route and it also lets other landlords know. it's just that she has left the unit. When I've taken a glance at some of the State of Ohio Eviction Handbooks that I have it has not been specifically addressed. I do know that sometimes the tenants have left the unit and a landlord will just dismiss the first cause. Please see the complaint form below along with the language. Thank you all in advance. A three day notice would have to be posted first.

In the Franklin County Municipal Court

Plaintiffs name:Case No.

Plaintiff s address:


Defendant's name:

Defendant's address:

Complaint for Eviction (Forcible Entry and Detainer)


1. Plaintiff is the landlord of the premises where Defendant(s)/ Tenant(s) are living. The address is:

2. Defendant(s) had the following type of tenancy with Plaintiff: (oral, written, or such other terms as may be appropriate).

3. Defendant(s) violated the terms of the tenancy in this way:

4. Plaintiff served the Defendant(s) with a written notice to leave the premises on the date of A copy of the notice is attached to this complaint.

5. In the notice, Defendant(s) were told to leave the premises by the date of

6. Defendant(s) did not leave the premises on the date stated above.


1. Plaintiff reiterates and reaffirms all of the allegations in the first claim.

2. Defendant(s) owe rent in the amount of $

3. Defendant(s) owe for damage to the property in the amount of $ a This value will be determined at a later time.

4. Defendant(s) owe for utilities in the amount of $


Restitution and recovery of said premises, and judgment for back rent, damages, late charges, and utilities in the amount of $and costs and interest.

a This value will be determined at a later time.






Eviction tenant left (by JAC [OH]) Posted on: Jul 30, 2020 2:26 PM

Pro's and con's to both approaches below.

Eviction: You state they are out but are they really? This might be the best approach. The eviction costs the most. Once I start I wouldn't dismiss the first cause. If they don't show, it doesn't cost anymore to get that judgement and move on to your 2nd/3rd cause. Evictions are tricky now. We are coming out of a moratorium but it might come back.

Small claims: You state they are out. This is the cheaper of the two but you need to get proper service. So unless you know their new address you can't send it to their rental address because they are not there.


Eviction tenant left (by Mike45 [NV]) Posted on: Jul 30, 2020 2:45 PM

I do NOT know Ohio law. In Nevada, if the Tenant moves out before I file the eviction,, I am prohibited from filing the eviction. If the tenant moves out before the trial date, I am prohibited from proceeding.

About a year ago, a judge asked me at the eviction trial if the Tenant was still in possession. I had driven by the property in question that morning, on my way to court, and had seen the Tenant's car in the driveway, so I was able to tell the judge that the Tenant was still in possession and to show him the photo of the car in the driveway on my cell phone.

My Eviction lawsuit is for possession only, not for damages, so if the Tenant is already out, there is no purpose in an eviction (except to mess up the Tenant's record). For me to recover damages, I would just go straight to Small Claims.


Eviction tenant left (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Jul 30, 2020 3:14 PM

Did the tenant return possession to you, or just leave?

BIG difference.

If they returned possession, then no need to evict (of course, this is in general - not OH specific) --70.160.xxx.xxx

Eviction tenant left (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Jul 30, 2020 3:45 PM

If i had the eviction started i would just continue it,if i hadnt started the eviction i would do a small claims action,in my state small claims is easier and cheaper but i would need there new address for a small claims. --104.229.xxx.xxx

Eviction tenant left (by DON [PA]) Posted on: Jul 30, 2020 3:55 PM

If they have vacated, then you cannot serve them with a lawsuit at the rental house. You would need to locate them to commence suit. In Phila, the court actually makes you sign an affidavit that they are still in the house when you file, to prevent the very practice that you are describing-----landlords filing suit just to get a money judgement and using the rental address as the defendants' address even though they have left. --70.90.xx.xxx

Eviction tenant left (by R [OH]) Posted on: Jul 30, 2020 4:33 PM

Thanks to everyone that has responded so far. I don't know where the tenant moved to. It is my understanding that she moved to North Carolina. So how does someone get good service. I kind of recall a magristate saying that I could use their last known address and file that way but not sure. I kind of think that a certified letter might be sent to represent good service. It seems like she said (the magistate)to get the letter and send it back. Still not sure.

To DJ - The tenant sent me an email saying that she left the unit and that her Mom has the key which I did pick up. I have not gone over to the unit but I did hear that her 18 or19 yo son has been back to the unit several times. I hate to pin it on him but she was not on the up and up and he has gone into the unit.

I'm thinking that this could really be an issue nowadays because of moratoriums that a number of cities, states etc. have passed. Many tenants can move out before they are evicted. --12.47.xx.xx

Eviction tenant left (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jul 30, 2020 4:41 PM

If I was lucky enough to file and have my tenant served with an eviction case, and they moved out prior to the hearing -- I would still have my attorney get the Writ of Possession and convert it to a Money Judgement. (Just because someone isn't in the rental one day doesn't mean they won't return and claim possession).

If the tenant wasn't served with an eviction and they move out, then I would file a case in small claims court -- ONLY AFTER the rental is fixed up, re-rented and occupied! --47.155.xx.xxx

Eviction tenant left (by R [OH]) Posted on: Jul 30, 2020 5:29 PM

The other thing about filing in small claims court is the max amount allowed is $3K whereas in an eviction the max is $15K. --12.47.xx.xx

Eviction tenant left (by JAC [OH]) Posted on: Jul 30, 2020 6:43 PM

Ohio does not address abandonment in any ORCs or tenant/landlord rules. Another option is to start the eviction, go to court and get your writ but let it expire after the 10 days and not call the sheriff. They are out anyway. Then within 60 days you can file for a default judgement for the amount owed otherwise your whole case gets dismissed. Remember your money judgement just means they lawfully owe that money. You have to collect which if you are looking to garnish and the same service rules would apply as in small claims. Garnishment and asset discovery is a whole other can of worms.

I know what I would do. She said she was out and you have documentation and the key. I would go in, change the locks, clean up and re-rent. Maybe keep an eye out and if she makes it back into the state and you find out where she is living you could file your small claim. --72.49.xxx.xxx

Eviction tenant left (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Jul 31, 2020 9:42 AM

Same as JAC above with a few alterations; start eviction even if you have keys, once you have 1st cause court you have -30 Days- to complete and send a accounting statement to last known address (OH5321.05 and 5321.16), I use fedex tracking to prove the letter was in fact delivered, the post office does not have a product for this at a reasonable cost. --76.188.xxx.xxx

Eviction tenant left (by R [OH]) Posted on: Aug 3, 2020 2:24 PM

Thanks JAC and Vee and everyone else. --12.47.xx.xx

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