REAL ESTATE/RENTAL DISPUTE
What does a landlord need to provide before beginning the process of evicting a business for nonpayment of rent?
Property owners must first send a notice requiring payment, as well as address the delivery and documentation details.
How long does the tenant have to respond to the notice? What if the tenant does not respond?
Tenants have 5 days to respond excluding weekends and holidays. If the tenant does not respond, a judge will typically issue a final judgment for eviction.
How long does an eviction action take?
An eviction action may take as little as two weeks up to a month.
Could I bring a damages claim in addition to an eviction claim?
Yes, a property owner may bring a separate damages claim against a former tenant. There is a different time limit for response. After serving with the two summonses, the eviction count must be answered within five days, and the damages count within twenty days.
Can a property owner bring an eviction action for non-monetary reasons?
Yes, as long as the reasons have been addressed/listed in the lease. If a lease does not list a specific probable, tenants must put the tenants on notice and provide a reasonable amount of time (15 days) for the tenant to cure.
What may happen if tenants overstay their lease and fail to vacate the premises?
If the lease does not address holdover tenants, the landlord may demand and recover double the normal monthly rent in addition to interest; however, most commercial leases usually address the topic of holdover tenants and provide a financial disincentive to the tenant.
How much notice must the landlord give the tenant prior to eviction?
The landlord must give three days written notice to vacate the premises for a tenant who either defaults on rent or holds over beyond the term of the lease.
What are the proper means for serving notice to vacate?
The notice to vacate may be served by mail to the premises in question or in person. For personal notice, the notice may be delivered to the tenant or any person residing at the premises at least 16 years old.
What is the Duty to Mitigate?
In situations where commercial real estate has been abandoned, landlord has a duty to mitigate any losses that might result from the abandonment. Consequently, the landlord should remove any remaining property and make decent efforts to find a new tenant.
If my landlord has wrongly withheld all or some of my security deposit, how much can I be reimbursed?
If the landlord is found guilty, he/she will be liable for three times the withheld amount plus $100, and attorneys fees.
If the tenant has been using the premises for public indecency activities, how much time does the landlord have to provide the notice of termination?
The landlord has six months to provide the tenant with a notice of termination.
Is there a grace period for payment of late rent?
Unless your lease states a designated time period before assessing a late fee, the landlord may begin eviction proceedings once your rent is late.
Can the landlord simply evict me by ordering me to leave the premises?
No, a landlord must first get a judgment from the court before evicting you.
On what grounds can a landlord evict me for?
A landlord may evict a tenant for non-payment of rent, staying beyond your lease (holding over), and breach of lease.
How much notice must the landlord give the tenant in an eviction?
State law requires one months notice that he/she is ending the lease. Should the tenant refuse, the landlord must then go to district court to obtain a judgment against the tenant.
Can what are valid reasons for a tenant terminate the legal obligation of the lease?
A tenant may get out of a rental contract for landlords legal misconduct, if replaced by a new tenant, or mutual agreement between landlord and tenant.
What can a landlord do if the tenant does not move out at the end of the lease?
The landlord must take the tenant to eviction court. Only a court, not landlord, can evict a tenant.
How long does the eviction process take?
After the notice period expires, the eviction may last as little as five weeks to three months.
What does the general process for eviction involve?
After the notice period expires (3-day, 30-day, or 60-day), the landlord may file a lawsuit, and the court will assign the case for trial as a summary proceeding. The court can then provide a judgment ordering an eviction usually allowing tenant time to move out.
What kinds of judgments may a court enter in an eviction case?
If the landlord prevails, the court will require the tenant to vacate the premises and possibly also pay back rent, damages, court costs, and even attorneys fees.
Can a landlord simply order the tenant to leave the premises after the court allows an eviction?
No, only proper authority like a sheriff can physically evict people the tenant from the premises.
When can a landlord use a 3-day written notice to of eviction?
If the tenant as failed to pay rent, violated any provision of the rental agreement, materially damaged the rental property, committed a nuisance, and used the rental property for any unlawful purpose.
When can a landlord use a 30-day or 60-day notice?
To end a month-to-month tenancy, a landlord can simply serve a 30-day or 60-day notice. Furthermore, the landlord need not provide a reason for ending the tenancy subject to exceptions depending on localities and circumstances.
How can I legally evict a tenant who has been late on rent?
After proper service of notice upon the tenant, you may bring a summary non-payment court proceeding.
Who is authorized to carry out a court ordered warrant to evict a tenant?
Only a marshal, constable or sheriff may carry out the warrant. The landlord may not personally evict the tenant by using force, threats or other unlawful means; otherwise, the tenant may be entitled to recover triple damages.
If the monthly rent is paid late, can the landlord impose a late fee?
Yes, the landlord may impose such a late fee. Standard lease agreements usually contain a provision stating that a fee will be imposed if payment is late. However, the provision must be proportionate to the amount of harm.
What are the notice requirements for terminating a month-to-month tenancy?
Outside New York City, this tenancy can be terminated by either party notifying the other at least one month before the end of the term. In New York City, a monthly tenant must be given at least 30 days before the expiration of the term and served with written notice.
District of Columbia
What are valid reasons for evicting a tenant?
The tenant may be evicted for violating provision(s) of the lease agreement, failing to pay rent on time, allowing illegal or criminal activity to take place on the rental premises.
Can a landlord evict a tenant without proper notice?
No, the landlord must provide written notice to the tenant, and allow the tenant to fix the default within a reasonable amount of time. If that does not occur, the landlord must then file for a formal court eviction proceeding.
When can a landlord evict a tenant?
The tenant can be evicted if: tenant fails to pay rent on time, violates provisions of lease agreement, damages property, tenant overstays term of lease.
Does notice been to be served upon the tenant before evicting the tenant? What are the different types?
Yes, there are different types of eviction notices that may be served.
Five-day notice may be served upon the tenant for failure to pay rent. If rent is not payed within five days, the landlord may proceed to evict the tenant.
Seven-day notice may be served to terminate a lease for a week-to-week lease.
Ten-day notice may be served if the tenant violate terms of lease.
Thirty-day notice may be served to terminate a month-to-month lease. A written 30-day notice must be served to terminate a one year lease.
Sixty-day notice may be served no earlier than 4 months before the end of the year.
How can the notice of eviction be served on the tenant?
The notice may be served: personally on the tenant, on someone at the tenants home at least 13 years old, by mail, or by posting notice on the door of the premises.
When can I file a lawsuit against my tenant?
You may file a case if the tenant either doesnt fix the violation upon notice and/or the tenant stays on premises after notice expires.
What is the process of filing a lawsuit against the tenant?
The landlord must fill out the eviction complaint and summons forms and file them at the Court Clerks office. Two copies may then be taken to the Sheriffs office who will then serve a copy of the summons and complain on the tenant.
If the tenant breaches the lease agreement, what can the landlord do?
Assuming the breach cannot be remedied, the landlord may then serve a written notice on the tenant and state the reasons and termination of tenancy at least 30 days after receipt of notice.
Under what conditions may a landlord immediatelyterminate the rental agreement?
If the tenant breaches contract with illegal or criminal act, poses a threat to health or safety, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and obtain possession of the premises right away.
If rent is unpaid when due, what notice can be served on the tenant?
If the tenant fails to pay rent within five days after the notice gives a five-day period to remedy the breach, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement.
What remedies may a landlord be entitled to after termination of a rental agreement?
The landlord may have claims for possession, for rent and damages for breach of rental agreement as well as reasonable attorneys fees and cost of process server.
If the tenants breach of a rental agreement can be remedied, what can the landlord do?
The landlord may serve a written notice specifying the specific conditions of breach granting a period of 21 days to remedy the breach otherwise the rental agreement will terminate no less than 30 days after the receipt of notice.