How does a court make sure that if a landlordwins an unlawful detainer action, they get the money from their tenant?

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How does a court make sure that if a landlordwins an unlawful detainer action, they get the money from their tenant?

My tenant has not paid me rent for all of th last 2 months. I am evicting them her. She never answers $the phone or calls me back; she never texts or returns them and she is never home. I am out 1900 in rent and probably $1500 in damages. I have just found out that she is moving into a house down the road that is much bigger than mine and has a pool. How is it OK for her to not pay rent and then move into a much bigger and more expensive house? What are my options and what do I do? Additionally what are the odds that I eventually get my money. I don’t know where she works or her SSN.

Asked on June 28, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  The court can not guarantee that you get any of the money that is issued to you in a judgement.  They can only issue you a judgement.  One they issue you a judgement then you can collect on it in the manner permitted under your state laws.  That usually means wage garnishment or levy of bank accounts or personal property. Once you obtain a judgement under the law you can serve the debtor with a subpoena or a written questionnaire in most states to obtain their information.  If they answer you that is another story. Do you have the bank information from her checks?  Her security deposit for the damage?  Then you may have enough to collect.  And I am sure that the landlord down the road would be appalled as you are.  Good luck.


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