Category: Renting and Tenant Rights

The Rent Collection Procedures for Apartments for Bad Debt

You’re able to incur a debt on a flat by failing to pay rent on time, damaging the apartment past the worth of your security deposit or breaking up the lease. A landlord can continue to pursue you for a debt you owe long after you move from the apartment. This will create a list of your unpaid debt on your credit report that could stop you from locating home that is acceptable elsewhere.


The moment you miss a rent payment or the landlord decides fees are owed by you in your current or past apartment, he’ll inform you . Commercial Investment Real Estate magazine notes that the landlord should obey the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by placing the overdue debt notification in writing and providing you 30 days to dispute the claim. If you still live at the apartment, failing to pay back the debt in a reasonable time period could lead to eviction.


A lawsuit against you could file for failing to pay rental debt. Any lawsuit has to be filed in your state’s debt collection statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for a suit over apartment damages or unpaid rent in California, by way of instance, is four years. Should a landlord file a lawsuit against you, you must be notified by her about the civil suit via a official court summons and complaint. You must then reply to the summons and complaint within the time period. After receiving a court summons notifying you It is possible to try to negotiate a debt settlement or repayment plan.


If you get a court summons from the landlord and don’t respond, don’t appear in court or reduce the case, the judge will grant the landlord a judgment from you personally. In several nations, a judgment gives the landlord the right to recover the debt. Garnishment takes place when funds you own are seized without your permission. This often happens with employment salary, but landlords with a court judgment against you can garnish money from the bank account.

Collection Agencies

Rather some landlords may enlist the assistance of a collection agency to recoup. Collection agencies get a proportion of any quantity they can accumulate and have been known to pursue consumers for payment. A collection service will contact you repeatedly by telephone and by mail, if the landlord provides it with your telephone number and new address. Collection agencies often report debts . This damage your scores and will bring about the apartment debt.

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Can I Legally Someone Out Of My Property?

You have the duties of any landlord when you rent a room in the house in which you live. The person renting the room — known as a lodger has rights as another tenant. There are two important exceptions. Since the owner and occupier of the house, you are in overall charge of the house and are permitted to enter all areas, including the lodger’s room. Without needing to go to court, Furthermore, in the event that you simply have a single lodger, then you can legally evict your lodger. So long as you provide your lodger notice to vacate — and also the time to leave has expired — the lodger could be removed for trespassing.

Prepare a notice that is written to your lodger stating that he cannot continue renting the room. Say in the notice the deadline for him to vacate your house. This date must be equal to the period of time between rental payments. As an instance, if the rent is paid each month, your lodger is entitled to a month’s notice. If the rent is paid a week’s notice will suffice. Sign and date the notice.

Give the notice. You can hand him it or attach it to the doorway of the room is that he isn’t readily available.

Wait to perish. If your lodger hasn’t vacated by the expiry date, it is possible to call the sheriff or police and have the lodger removed as a trespasser.

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Rights of Tenants in Foreclosure

As a paying tenant who follows the principles, the very last thing you should worry about is if your house will be yours while your lease is still active. Alas, many tenants find themselves displaced through no fault of their own, simply because their landlords didn’t cover the mortgage. The amount of tenants displaced due to foreclosure appeared so large, a national initiative passed on to extend security to tenants living in soon-to-be foreclosed properties. Called the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act of 2009 (PTFA), the initiative requires lenders and buyer who purchase foreclosures to honor busy rentals.

Right to Keep the Lease

Tenants using a written lease agreement, and who entered into the lease prior to the initial foreclosure proceedings, are described”bona fide tenants” beneath PFTA. A bona fide tenant has the right to perform the remainder of her lease under the same terms set forth in the initial lease agreement. The new homeowner assumes the position of the landlord and must honor the initial conditions. There is an exception, however, if the new homeowner intends to use the house as his primary residence. In this situation, the new homeowner has no obligation to continue the entire remaining lease, although he should offer adequate notice prior to evicting the tenant.

Right to Adequate Notice

If the new homeowner intends to use the house as her primary residence, she must provide at least 90 days’ notice to the tenant to vacate. The homeowner does not have any jurisdiction to vacate a tenant prior to owning the house, so she can’t count any time prior to finalizing the sale toward the complete 90 days. Tenants have a right to receive notice in writing, which the homeowner should function in person or via courier. The 90-day limitation does not start to run before the tenant physically receives the written notice.

Directly to Utilities

Prior to the enactment of this PFTA, lenders would frequently notify tenants of an impending foreclosure via email, telling tenants that they had as little as 48 hours to vacate the house. If a tenant chose to remain put, some creditors will shut off the power, water and other utilities; other folks might change the locks or even get rid of the front doorway, hoping to induce the tenant out. PFTA currently prohibits lenders from implementing any one of these approaches, and imposes a penalty of up to $100 for every day a creditor turns off a tenant’s utilities. Homeowners are equally illegal, and in reality, are responsible for paying all utilities that the previous landlord paid for the remainder of the lease.

Directly to Tenant’s Basic Rights

Even if the tenant receives a 90-day notice to vacate, he keeps the same rights he would have if the landlord never offered the rental house before the day that he vacates. The new homeowner becomes responsible for keeping the house, completing any required repairs and ensuring that the house stays in a habitable condition. The new homeowner cannot change the terms of the original lease with no tenant’s permission, and the tenant has a right to file a claim against the homeowner if he violates the lease in any way.


Tenants with no written lease are believed tenants”at-will,” otherwise known as a month-to-month lease. No matter any verbal agreement with the previous landlord, most of at-will tenants must vacate the house within 90 days after the new homeowner takes control. Tenants who entered into a new lease after foreclosure proceedings began are also not protected under the action, even if the tenant was unaware of the pending foreclosure actions. However, in this situation, the tenant could still submit a claim against the landlord to recoup cash for prepaid rent, security deposits, expenses incurred due to displacement (for example, hotel prices ), emergency moving costs and damages.

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How Can I Write a Land Lease Agreement?

If a property lease arrangement is not drafted carefully, it won’t really constitute a legally binding contract. There are lots of components that have to be included in a well-drafted property lease arrangement to ensure its viability. Luckily for first-time landlords, the practice is not too intricate or packed with legal jargon. If you strategy lease drafting with the right information you’re able to create a transparent, powerful, binding rental to your property property.

Provide a legal description of this property in the very first paragraph of this rental arrangement. Even though a street address or device number often suffices for structural leases, a property lease arrangement demands a more exhaustive legal description. You have to mention the property’s exact boundaries as given by coordinates on a property survey map or on the property’s deed.

Use specific, constant nomenclature when referring to parties involved in the rental. In other words, you wish to consistently and specifically refer to the”renter” and”landlord,” or use a business name or the landholder’s title in place of the generic”landlord.” Avoid using vague pronouns such as”us,””them,””that he” or”you.” These words are not specific enough and will frequently weaken a rental arrangement.

Establish the lease’s length clearly and concisely. If you do not specify how long the tenant will lease the property, then the rental arrangement is invalid.

Add any essential clauses regarding profit-sharing if you expect the tenant to give you a proportion of their property’s profits. If the property is being leased for agricultural purposes, you might wish to consider incorporating profit-sharing clauses. According to the University of California’s Small Farm Program, rents that include profit-sharing can be helpful in the event the land is fertile and the landlord and tenant both take proactive measures toward ensuring that a high crop yield. But, remember that profit-sharing agreements are usually coupled with a very low or nonexistent monthly rent, thus if the harvest fails, you won’t get rent from the tenant. Make sure any profit-sharing provisions are clearly worded, incorporating exact profit percentages and itemizing the tenant’s responsibilities for cultivating and harvesting the property.

Detail each party’s financial responsibilities for any possible construction or landscaping on the house. If your property lease arrangement enables the landlord or tenant to construct commercial or residential structures on the house, you must explain who’ll pay for these developments. In accordance with”California Real Estate Property Management,” you cannot force a tenant to pay for developments unless the lease specifically indicates that the tenant is liable for specific itemized property additions.

Any included or excluded utilities. If certain water, electrical or gas utilities are not itemized in the rental, whoever uses the utilities will be legally responsible for these invoices. Typically the tenant uses the utilities, but it can be difficult to show tenant usage in the event the house is shared by multiple occupants. This is why itemized utility prices are important in the land lease arrangement.

Schedule a consultation session with an attorney once you’ve drafted the rental arrangement. Here is the only way to know for sure that the rental is complete and legally binding. Even though it can be costly and time consuming to have a lawyer draft a rental from scratch, a simple consultation using your pre-drafted lease document will usually take around 15 minutes.

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Renters' Rights With Foreclosures

Foreclosure is the legal method lenders use to get control of or sell a home when the mortgage isn’t being paid. A federal law enacted on May 20, 2009,”Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act,” gives tenants rights when the landlord is facing foreclosure. The laws supersedes state laws concerning tenants’ rights. A tenant living in a home facing foreclosure does not need to proceed immediately.


A lease is the rental agreement signed by the tenant and owner which specifies the lease terms, like the length and amount of rent due every month. Leases that existed before the property has been foreclosed on can’t be terminated by means of a foreclosure occurring after May 20, 2009, based on NOLO. The tenant can stay in the dwelling until the lease ends, unless whoever purchased the foreclosed property is going to reside at the rental unit. A tenant living in a foreclosed home the new owner intends to use as a main residence has to be given 90-day notice before the lease is terminated.

Monthly Tenancies

Tenants that are month-to-month, meaning there’s no signed lease set up, must be given 90 days notice before having to move. Tenants who don’t proceed after receiving the note can be subject to eviction by the new owner. Eviction is the authorized proceeding utilized by a landlord to remove a tenant from a rental home.

Rental Services

Utility services which were supplied from the foreclosed landlord, for example heating, has to continue while the tenant is legally permitted to occupy the rental unit, as stated by the Home and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA). The new owner must keep the utility providers on, even if that owner is the lender which foreclosed on the property. The new owner is also responsible for repairs, and the tenant has the right to submit requests to the new owner for repair and maintenance problems.

Tenant Lawsuit

A tenant can take legal action against a former landlord that had been foreclosed on if her lease had been terminated, as could occur if the new owner decides to reside in the rental home. Leases typically possess a clause which ensures”silent joy,” or uninterpreted occupancy of this rental unit, for the length of the lease. A lease which ends early because of foreclosure violates the enjoyment clause. The tenant can file a civil suit against the landlord to recover costs related to the breach of the lease, like moving expenses.

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Fair Housing Laws on Tenant Screening

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the lease, sale or financing of housing on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, familial status and disability. Many regions of the nation are also subject to local and state fair housing laws which could expand upon, but not decrease, the federal statute. Tenant screening, an component of rental home, is subject to all fair housing laws.


The Fair Housing Act, signed into law by President Johnson in 1968, is Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act. It had been passed in the midst of the return of Vietnam veterans, many of them minorities, who were being denied mortgages, flats and homes based on their race. Through the years a number of amendments are added to the law, among them the discrimination ban on people with disabilities and families with kids. State and local fair housing legislation came before and after the federal law. New York City passed the local law in 1957. California’s was among the first comprehensive state legislation in 1963.


Requiring different information from other classes of applicants based on some of the protected class categories is illegal. For instance, you can’t require a white candidate to present a copy of a tax return along with a applicant a duplicate of his employer-provided W-2 form. You can’t ask about national origin or religion. In certain states, such as California, you can’t inquire about citizenship or immigration status. You can prohibit pets normally and say this on a program, however if a potential tenant has a letter from a physician saying he needs a companion puppy due to a mental health condition, you can’t deny tenancy or prohibit the puppy. In summary, you can’t base any activity or decision in the screening procedure on any aspect of an applicant’s membership in one of the protected classes.

Complaint Process

Applicants or tenants that believe they’ve been treated unfairly have one year to file a federal fair housing complaint. It’s then investigated by either the Department of Housing and Urban Development or a state or local housing agency. Parties may voluntarily enter a conciliation process—like mediation—to resolve the complaint. If investigators find acceptable cause that discrimination took place, they bring the offending party prior to an administrative law judge for a hearing loss. Penalties and damages can amount to thousands of dollars.


Proving you didn’t violate fair housing regulations in a specific instance, perhaps many months prior, is a struggle. The ideal way a landlord can protect himself against these claims—along with rigorous adherence to regulations —would be to record notes and steps taken through the screening procedure and keep tenant screening records for well over a year. A checklist or other paper document that demonstrates consistent screening steps for every single applicant will help.


A landlord isn’t required to divulge his screening procedure to potential tenants during the procedure or give reasons for not choosing a tenant unless the decision was predicated on the results of a credit reportnonetheless, if a fair housing complaint is lodged, he won’t only have to disclose the procedure, but fully document it. To prevent even the appearance of discrimination, a few landlords disclose every step involved in the procedure and follow it .

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Legal Treatments Available for Landlords

Legal remedies available for landlords fall into two primary categories: recovering possession of the rented premises and payment of money damages. The main challenge for a landlord is understanding the specific steps needed to regain possession, which may vary significantly depending upon the type and location of their rental house. Landlord-tenant legislation are somewhat different in each state, and may even differ among counties and cities within the exact same state. Before pursuing any treatment, it’s essential to check the local and state laws in which the property is located (see Resources).

Struggling to Pay Rent

A tenant's failure to pay rent is the toughest scenario for a landlord. The landlord should pursue recovering possession of the premises from the tenant via a court-ordered eviction or unlawful detainer lawsuit. Before this treatment can be chased, appropriate written notice should be given to the tenant. In most scenarios, the notice is a 3-day pay or quit notice; that is, the renter has 3 days to pay the rent due or surrender possession of the premises. However, the mandatory notice period varies in some specific scenarios. For example, in California, in the event the rental housing unit is sold in foreclosure and the tenant wasn’t a party to the foreclosed mortgage, then the notice period is enlarged from 3 days to 60 days.

Breach of Rental Agreement

When the tenant breaches the lease arrangement –other than non-payment of lease –a proper written notice must be served on the tenant before the landlord could regain possession of their premises. In such scenarios, the notice is generally described as a treatment or quit notice that gives the tenant the right to fix whatever condition exists that is the reason for the breach. For example, such breaches include using a pet not permitted under the lease, neglecting to repair tenant-caused property damage or breaking common-area rules. In California, the necessary notice is a 3-day notice to cure or quit. Other jurisdictions may take a longer period or a period of time reasonably sufficient to classify the violation.

Termination Tenancy

A landlord may give a notice to terminate the property to recover ownership of their premises. In this instance, the renter has no choice to take action to conserve the tenancy. This notice is given when a lien is monthly as well as the landlord is permitted to terminate the tenancy by giving a 30- or 60-day note ; however, this is a circumstance where jurisdictions may vary greatly regarding the rules for the notice. Some jurisdictions will permit a landlord to provide such a notice without cause, though other jurisdictions, in particular rent-controlled cities, require a mere reason to evict a tenant. Just cause is generally considered to be egregious conduct, such as being a nuisance or danger to the other tenants. In tenancies involving Section 8 housing assistance, only cause is required for eviction.

Notice of Abandonment

A landlord might be able to recover ownership of the premises without needing to file a suit once the tenant abandons the premises. For example, in California, if the rent is unpaid for 14 consecutive days and the landlord reasonably believes that the tenant has abandoned the premises, the landlord could mail and post a notice to the tenant signaling this belief. If the tenant fails to respond within 18 days after mailing the notice, the rental unit is deemed abandoned.

Civil Suit for Damages

In case the tenant owes the landlord money for any reason—for instance, back rent or property damage—the landlord may file a lawsuit and pursue a money judgment. If the landlord must file a lawsuit to recover ownership, this lawsuit can include a claim for money damages as well. However, in cases where the tenant has vacated the premises but still owes the landlord money, the lawsuit will only find a money judgment. From the best-case situation, the landlord has a sufficient security deposit from the tenant that to cover the money damages.

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