What legal action can a landlord taketo collectback rent?

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What legal action can a landlord taketo collectback rent?

I fell behind on monthly rent and moved out at the owner’s request in 02/10. I have been paying a portion of the back rent each month until this 11/10 and I just have not had any money to pay. The landlord is telling me he is going to take legal action. What can he do other than garnishee my pay or sue for the back rent? I have nothing to give him.

Asked on March 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You've identified exactly what he can do--he can sue you, and if he wins and you don't pay, may use various collection mechanisms, such as garnishing a bank account or wages, putting a lien on real property, or executing on (having the sheriff seize and sell) other property. (That is, if there's no security deposit; if there is and it hasn't been returned yet, the landlord can take back rent out of it.) Remember, though, that if the landlord gets a judgment against you in court, he has *years* to enforce it--so if your economic situation improves (e.g. you inherit, or start earning more), he can come after you at some later date to try to get the money that you owe him.


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