What legally are my options if my tenant’s rent check has bounced again?

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What legally are my options if my tenant’s rent check has bounced again?

My tenant’s check bounced again which has caused me financial difficulties as a single mother. I have made several attempts at contacting him to get repayment of rent and fees but he has not responded. Legally at this point what are my options? I know in the lease it talks about abandonment if he’s in breach of his lease for untimely payment. Is this considered breach of the lease?

Asked on June 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, not paying his rent--whether that's because he refuses to pay or because his checks bounce--is a breach of the lease and gives you grounds to evict him. Note that you can't just lock him out: you have to go through the courts, but it's a fairly straightforward process. If you contact your local court, either online or in person, you should be able to get forms and instructions.

After the tenant is evicted, if you have a security deposit from him, you may take out of the security any rent which he had not paid.

Alternately, you could sue him, such as in small claims court, for any money he owes you, including bounced check fees.

You have rights; you do not have to let him stay there if he won't pay you.


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