What options do I have if my tenant is not paying rent?

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What options do I have if my tenant is not paying rent?

New tenant was given keys andgarage door opener, mailbox keys upon signing a 1 year lease beginning the first of this month ($1300/mont rent and $1300 security). She has moved stuff into the garage but has not paid any rent and only $1080 toward security deposit. I have had many communications via email, as she avoids my phone calls. She keeps promising to money into my account but has not. I threatened her with a notice to quit and told her the lease agreement states if she breaches the agreement, she is liable to pay rent until it is re-rented.

Asked on October 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You seem to know your options:

1) You can evict a tenant for non-payment of rent. Remember: you have to do this through the courts--you can't just change locks, etc.

2) You can sue her for the rent which she owes you under the lease; you could sue her in small claims court if you wanted (as long as the total owed is under the court's threshhold level) and represent yourself, in order to save on legal fees. (Also: small claims court tends to get to cases faster than other courts.)

3) If you have a security deposit, once you terminate her tenancy (e.g. by an eviction proceeding), you can apply that to the unpaid rent.

4) At some point after you get the tenant out, you'll be able to get rid of her stuff--it would be a good idea to check with a local lawyer for the time frame and procedure.


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