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MiDTOWNeR

Can anyone offer advice?

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So our tenants lease is up Aug 30th. They have advised us that they do not intend on paying their rent for August, and that we can use their security deposit in lieu of the rent. This obviously is not allowed per the lease agreement. Can anyone suggest what our next step should. Is there anything we can do proactively or do we just have to wait for them to not pay their rent. At that point do we even bother with the eviction process, or go after them in small claims court for the unpaid rent.

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I would go after them both ways. Of course, you do run the risk that htey will trash the place once you start eviction proceedings. And for the next tenant, get the last month's rent in addition to the deposit.

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I would go after them both ways. Of course, you do run the risk that htey will trash the place once you start eviction proceedings. And for the next tenant, get the last month's rent in addition to the deposit.

So 3 months rent for someone to move in? Is that common in Houston?

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A little googling says that eviction process takes 3 to 4 weeks. You'd have to pay the court filing fees, meanwhile.

I would try warning them that they'll be evicted if they don't pay their rent. If they reiterate that they're not going to pay, then you have to decide if it's worth it. Seems like it might be best to just wait and see if there's damage and sue them if there is. Will they let you do a walkthrough right now to check for damage? That might tell you whether they're trying to pull something or if they're just tacky jerks.

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I agree with kylejack. At least ask to see the place.

Perhaps they just don't trust you to return their deposit. There are many crappy landlords (I've had a few) that won't give your deposit back despite the place being in great shape.

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So our tenants lease is up Aug 30th. They have advised us that they do not intend on paying their rent for August, and that we can use their security deposit in lieu of the rent. This obviously is not allowed per the lease agreement. Can anyone suggest what our next step should. Is there anything we can do proactively or do we just have to wait for them to not pay their rent. At that point do we even bother with the eviction process, or go after them in small claims court for the unpaid rent.

First I would highlight the portion of your lease that says they still have to pay the last months rent...they may just be idiots and not know what the lease says...I would remind them first. Second, I bet your lease allows you to start showing the townhome while they are still in it. Some require a nominal fee to do so....I would let them know that you are going to show it, take pictures of it in its current state so you can prove what it looked like before you angered them by telling them they had to pay....the eviction process is long, and the tenants have so many rights...its not worth your time.

Take the pictures now and verify that there is not currently any damage, then if there is additional damage you can prove it was intentional.

The eviction process is just such a pain. I would set myself up properly to go after them later, but not do so unless necessary. Photographs/Video are the best evidence in any legal proceeding.

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Thank you for all of the info provided thus far. I will say that we are not crappy landlords nor have we been during their lease. We have every intention of returning their full security deposit should the home be in good condition given normal wear and tear of course. They have indicated that they will be moving out on Aug 16th...so the eviction process-we know- would be right in the middle of that. Our thought process was that since they flat out told us they would not be paying the rent, that indeed when we do not receive the rent that at that point the eviction process was a way for us to cover ourselves legally for when to go to court over the issue. So instead some of you are saying just forego the eviction process, and just wait and see if their are things that we need to fix that would come out of the deposit and just go after them for that part if need be? I like the idea of going in now taking pictures since we will be showing the house before the lease is up. That is great! Thanks again everyone, and anyone else who can chime in, please do.

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Send them a certified letter, return receipt requested, with the following information (which should also be in your lease if you used a TAR standard form--pages 3 and 4 --http://www.texasrealtors.com/mr/forms/blank/2001%20Final.pdf).

"Notices About Security Deposits:

(1)Property code § 92.108 provides that a tenant may not withhold payment of any portion of the last month's rent on grounds that the security deposit is security deposit for unpaid rent.

(2)Bad faith violations of § 92.108 may subject tenant to liability up to 3 times the rent wrongfully withheld and the landlord's reasonable attorney's fees."

I rented a home where we knew the landlord was a dirtbag and he wouldn't give us back our security deposit because he drank it all. Because of the law, we opted to go ahead and pay the last month and then sued him in small claims court for triple our deposit. Unfortunately, because he was a dirtbag and was sleeping on someone's couch, we couldn't locate him to serve with the suit. We also couldn't put a lien on the house because he let it get foreclosed on shortly after we moved out.

Good luck.

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BTW, I did file the complaint and I can look to see if I still have a copy of it you could use for small claims court.

That would be excellent! Thank you.

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I checked and I don't have it on the computer anymore but I have a hard copy of everything. If you want to email me your fax number thru this site I can send it to you.

De

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can anyone recommend an attorney experienced with writ of mandamus[order to compell].

hcad's latest trick is to ignore notice of protest and refusing to schedule hearing.

writ of mandamus allows the court to order hcad to schedule hearing and,

for owner to collect atorney fees and court costs.

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