Rental Basics in Charlotte>Question Details

Kick'em Out, Other/Just Looking in Charlotte, NC

Our contract reads ..first and last month rent due execution of contract. Now 7 months into a 2 year contract..our tenants have yet to pay....

Asked by Kick'em Out, Charlotte, NC Wed Mar 31, 2010

We are leasing our home out to tenants with a legal 2 year contract in place..we are now 7 months into the contract. The tenant have yet to pay the last months rent which is provision in the contract (first and last months rent due upon execution of the contract) We have allow a number of thing outside of the contract due to their financial situation..on good faith. We have also asked about the rent a number of times ..however we don't believe their word anymore ..all good faith has ran out! What options do we have at this point..any suggestions please!

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I am a Realtor and a landlord so I know what you are going through and I know what is legal. First, you should have never let them move in without paying upfront whatever the contract says. I never ask someone to pay first and last month's rent before they move in. I have them pay the security deposit and the first month's rent before they get the keys. Second thing is, do you really want to evict them if they are at least paying the rent? You mentioned that you let things slide due to your financial situation so it doesn't sound like eviction is what you would want to do right now. Also eviction cost money and the fee keeps going up but I think it is about $90 now. First you have to give the tenants a 10 day notice before you can even file the eviction. Then it takes another 10 days to go to court. If you get the eviction, the tenants have another 10 days to move out. If they don't , then you have to contact the Sheriff's department and pay even more money to get the Sheriff's office to meet you out there in another 10 days to lock the doors. As you can see, it takes several weeks to through the process and while you are going through it, the tenants will most likely not pay you a dime! Why would they pay this month's rent if they are going to get evicted?

The rental market has been very slow in Charlotte for the last year although things are starting to pick up. I have leased 2 of my vacant units in the past week and have an application on the 3rd and final vacant unit. Be careful of what things you do let slide because if you give them an inch, they will take a mile! I hope that you are in Charlotte and can check on the property from time to time. I also do property management for others, so if you ever need a property manager, I would be happy to help!

April Crowder
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
Sorry to hear your situation, and just know that you're not alone. I'm also an investor, and I can relate. I think Wendy Patton puts it best: "if your tenants aren't paying their rent, then you are." You probably should consult with an attorney, and evict these tenants. You might also run the idea of "cash for keys" past that attorney.

Additionally, please free to keep me in mind if you need help recovering your judgment.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
Evict them.

They're in violation of the lease and you've been in communication with them to try to resolve the matter.

You don't say what else you've allowed "outside of the contract."

You shouldn't have let the move in without payment of those two months. However . . .

The point is that they're in violation of the lease. Check with a lawyer if you choose. Then begin the eviction process.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
I would just add that you need to document that the lease terms are in default in a certified letter to your tenants. It would be best if you documented this in month 1 and kept a paper trail ever since. North Carolina is a Tenant State which means it puts more burden on the landlord to document.

If you have waited 7 months to bring this to your tenants attention this might not be so clear cut.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
Kick'em Out,

So sorry to hear that you are in this situation. You've received a lot of good advice here, but here's my two cents worth....

I think you do need to consider what will happen to the property if you start the eviction process and how long it will take you to rent the property again. In the long run it may not be worth getting a judgement for 2 months rent and having the tenants evicted. It sounds like there are several other issues and you might be feeling like it is best to end the relationship. If after weighing all the costs including lack of rental income while you go through the process and possible repairs needed if they trash the house, you still think it is best to move forward then I would consult an attorney. It doesn't sound like you have been down this road before and it's always best to have a professional on your side when you are in that position. From what I understand, eviction is a fairly simple process so it shouldn't cost you much in attorney fees and court costs.

I wish you the best of luck!

Gina Storeholder
Licensed in NC & SC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
April's answer is spot on. You need to hire someone like her to help you get them out. If she has a management agreement with you all she can file the eviction papers and start the process of getting them out. Another tactic you might want to consider is to offer them "key" money. Tell them you'll give them a few hundered dollars if they move out by such and such date and leave the house in good condition. (That way they won't trash the place during the eviction period.)
Hire a professional to help you and get them out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
Your tenants are, most likely, in default of their lease, and you can take them to small claims court and have them evicted for non-payment. You do not need an attorney to file an eviction for you. Eviction is a simple matter in small claims court. You can get a judgement in the amount of the rent owed. If I were you though, I would consult an attorney because you allowed the tenants to move in without paying that last month's rent. If they are current on their rent payments, a Judge may raise an eyebrow that you let the tenants move in without the payment of the last month's rent. When you ldid et the tenants go ahead and move in, by chance did you get anything in writing regarding the delay of the payment of the last month's rent and when you both agreed it would be paid? By allowing them to go ahead and move in, you may have hurt your position. If these folks are paying their rent, I would let it go. You have a bird in the hand. It could take several months to get them out and no telling how long to get another renter. These will all be months with zero dollars coming more, which will add up quickly and you will lose way more than you could possibly gain. I wish you the best, Kathleen
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
First thing any landlord should remember... if they cant pay first month rent and the security, how are they going to pay teh next months rent? bchances are eventually paymenst will get later, maybe be a little less than poof, no more payments. Now having the contract you are in, they will only be able to pay rent OR the last months rent you seek. If you start eviction, that probabily willbe the last of the rent you ever see from them, you can sue, but you cant get blood from a stone. I would study your states landlord tenant rules and if you want them out, follow them carefully on what grounds you can evict them for. i dont know your specific states law, but here in Nh we can only collect 1st month rent and 1 month security, it is illegal to collect last months rent or a pet deposit on top of that. good luck working things out
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
They are in violation of the can evict them. Hire an attorney and have them evicted if they do not come up with the last month rent as was erequired seven months ago.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
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