How to Collect past due rent from disposessory & damages

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Latest post 12-07-2006 10:55 AM by Drew. 2 replies.
  • 12-06-2006 2:55 PM

    Question [=?] How to Collect past due rent from disposessory & damages

    I recently evicted a tenant from my property. At the disposessory hearing the tenant consented to pay 2 months worth of past due rent, include late fees, court cost, etc and vacate the premises within 7 days. On the 7th day the tenant had stated she would turn over the keys and garage door opener as required in the signed lease agreement. She moved her entire belongings but I waited at the property and she never showed up or answered my calls to return the keys or the garage door opener.

    How can I go about collecting the money she consented to pay before the judge during the diposessory and collect for damages to rekey the locks and reset the garage door opener? The lease agreement stated she would loose her security deposit plus she'd have to pay $50 for each lock rekeyed and $150 for resetting the garage door opener.

    Also if she did not provide a forwarding address but I know her place of employment and know who she banks with can I garnish her wages without having to sue her in civil court? Because civil court requires and address to serve the suit to right?

    Will a FIFA come in handy hear at all?
  • 12-06-2006 3:03 PM In reply to

    re: How to Collect past due rent from disposessory & damages

    I gather the judge didn't address the issue of the security deposit in the hearing.

    I'd check with a local real estate attorney as to whether keeping the deposit as a penalty for not returning keys is enforceable. If so, the attorney may advise sending her a letter advising her such is the case, noting any other damages, and the re-key charges, etc. Even if you don't have a new address and the USPS doesn't have any new information (presumably all her mail isn't still coming there, so it's a safe bet she filed a change of address with post office), you'd send to the address you have. If you have to sue her for anything else, you'll need a good address.

    "Also if she did not provide a forwarding address but I know her place of employment and know who she banks with can I garnish her wages without having to sue her in civil court?"

    If you have a judgment for a specific amount, you can garnish for that, sure. But only as to what you have a judgment for.

    You need to do your own research on the collection procedures in your state. I gather a FIFA is a proof of judgment in GA so, yes, you'll want one.

    http://www.georgiacourts.org/courts/magistrate/pierce/about.html#Anchor%2014
  • 12-07-2006 10:55 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
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    re: How to Collect past due rent from disposessory & damages

    Suggestions from a LL:

    Were I in your shoes I'd try to make the security deposit be applied to issues that were NOT addressed in the judgement award and would be difficult for me to address anew. You can get darn creative here--after all it requires the tenant to go back to court if he feels otherwise. And if possible I put in all defendable damages and unpaid issues under the lease such that even if a tenant could prevail on one the sum left exceeds the deposit.

    I do no know what you state law say as to answers back to tenant but I'd check. In my state the tenant must supply me his new address and if he fails to do so its to his loss--I am not required to dig for it. But I do cover my tail by sending a timely response to the last known mailing address (the unit they left) on possibilitythat tenant left a forwarding address with post office.

    But I would do so near end of statutory period, with particular attention to running out any appeal period under the earlier court order (often 30 days) In my state it is all too easy for a tenant to appeal.

    If your existing order upon its maturity is sufficent to file a wage garnishment then I'd do so upon its maturity.



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