If a landlord loses a eviction case in court can they legally send the tenant’s bill to a collection agency?

UPDATED: Feb 13, 2012

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If a landlord loses a eviction case in court can they legally send the tenant’s bill to a collection agency?

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

By "bill,"I assume you mean rent which the landlord claims is unpaid. (If you mean something else, you should repost the question.)

The answer is, the landlord may  well be able to do this. An  eviction proceeding determines possession to the rental premises; it does not result in a monetary judgment. Hence, the landlord could lose the eviction proceeding for a variety of reasons (e.g. improper notice; failed to prove some lease violation sufficient to obtain an eviction) but the tenant could still owe rent money which he or she has not paid.

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