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Quest

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi,

I would like some advice from experienced folks on the board about an urgent matter. I signed a lease with a tenant on March 1 and at the time of lease signing, they gave me a check for the move-in funds. They got the keys and have moved in. Few days later I find out that the check has bounced! When I mention to them that they have not paid and should move out, they have not been co-operating. Its already been 12 days now that they are living in the home without paying anything.

My question is, what can I do now to get them out of the home? Since bouncing a check is a crime, can I report it to the local police department or the DA's office? Since the move-in funds were not received, is the lease in default now? 

I accept that we did make a couple mistakes in going with these tenants. One was not running a thorough screen on them before lease signing. Now we find out that the tenant has a past eviction and also a theft felony on her record few months ago. Another mistake was getting in the move-in funds with a personal check and giving them the keys before we know the check has cleared. Won't be repeating these mistakes again.

Looking for advice going forward about what I can do to get them out of the home at the earliest possible. Thanks for your help.
Shnaka

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quest
Hi,

I would like some advice from experienced folks on the board about an urgent matter. I signed a lease with a tenant on March 1 and at the time of lease signing, they gave me a check for the move-in funds. They got the keys and have moved in. Few days later I find out that the check has bounced! When I mention to them that they have not paid and should move out, they have not been co-operating. Its already been 12 days now that they are living in the home without paying anything.

My question is, what can I do now to get them out of the home? Since bouncing a check is a crime, can I report it to the local police department or the DA's office? Since the move-in funds were not received, is the lease in default now? 

I accept that we did make a couple mistakes in going with these tenants. One was not running a thorough screen on them before lease signing. Now we find out that the tenant has a past eviction and also a theft felony on her record few months ago. Another mistake was getting in the move-in funds with a personal check and giving them the keys before we know the check has cleared. Won't be repeating these mistakes again.

Looking for advice going forward about what I can do to get them out of the home at the earliest possible. Thanks for your help.


Get an eviction attorney and get the process started

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larrywww

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Reply with quote  #3 
Serve the 3 day notice immediately, assuming you know how (big assumption).  This kind of desperate ploy probably means multiple evictions.  

Or better yet, hire an eviction law firm immediately.  Most beginning landlords don't appreciate how difficult it is to screen tenants.  And the 2nd thing they routinely fail to appreciate is how technical an eviction is.  If the paperwork is not picture perfect, the judge will throw it out (as they are required to do under the law, unfortunately).    The way you should look at it is that you are losing $ a day by NOT getting rent.  You've already made a huge mistake.  My advice is not to compound it.  

For the future, you should consult your local apartment association for training in tenant screening for the future.
Credit is far less important than eviction check, criminal and background check, though ideally you should do both.  The average landlord has no idea how to do this without some kind of help.

You can sue for treble damages for intentionally passing a bad check.  But  good luck on collecting the judgement.  The likelihood in interesting a local prosecutor with a bad check case may not be all that great.  But might be worth a shot.

One final piece of advice.  It's the hard way to learn things, but you should try to view this as being (somehow) a positive if you can manage NOT to do this in the future.  

Get a competent management company and eviction firm and try to learn from your experience, is my advice.

javipa

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Reply with quote  #4 
Wow.

Start evicting.  There's no shortcut here. 

You cut off all your leverage by accepting a check, and not doing a credit check, and failing to cash the check before the tenant moved in.


The question might be, "Why are you managing this property yourself?"

You need professional management in place.  If nothing else, you can hold the management company liable.


Meantime, a credit check would have given you leverage to do the following (potentially):

1.  Get more rent.
2.  Get a higher deposit.
3.  Get a cosigner.
4.  Get a longer lease agreement (at the higher rent).
5.  Move on to a better prospect altogether.
6.  Avoid this mess.


You do have 'some' leverage here. 

1.  You have a bogus check. 
2.  If it's big enough, it will interest the county prosecutor. 
3.  It may be more interesting even, when the check writer is a felon.  It is a felony to write a bad check. 
4.  This might represent a '2nd strike, or even a 3rd strike'. 
5.  It also would be a violation of probation and/or parole.


BTW, I've "hammered" checks from a potential deadbeats.  In one instance, making a small deposit into the tenant's account, brought the balance up, so that I could cash his check.  Fifty bucks deposited to make a check good, is better than holding out for a 100% of nothing. 

I had a tenant move out without paying.  She had written me a bogus rent check four or five months earlier, which eventually covered.  However, I didn't return the ricocheted check, and it remained in my file. 

When I went to close her file, I found the old check.  I went to her bank, and hammered it.  The check cleared and I got my money. 

The hilarious thing was that the tenant's check to her new landlord bounced as a result!!!


You know that I'm a bad winner, and so that was too delicious.

So, the answers are:

1. File an eviction
2. Report the check to the county prosecutor
3. Inform the deadbeat that you plan to cooperate in the prosecution of their bogus check, and that (obviously) writing bad checks is a felony
4. Give deadbeat the option of evacuating the premises within five days in return for dropping the felony prosecution of their bogus check, and the eviction proceeding
5. Hire a professional manager
 

It's gonna cost you two or three thousand dollars after all is said and done, but the faster you move, the less it will eventually cost.

FWIW 



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mlreits

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Reply with quote  #5 
Sorry to hear about your situation Quest. I will echo what others said above. Get an eviction attorney immediately. Have the eviction attorney serve the "3-day notice" today. Don't even bother trying to do the eviction yourself. It's not worth the time and effort in my opinion. At this point, all you can hope for is that they are not "professional tenant." If they are, it will cost you a bundle.

It's cash or cashier's check before move-in. Always, no exception. If their credit is not good, they will make concessions like higher rent, first, last plus deposit, co-signer, etc. They will be more than happy to do whatever you want to get the place. It's a learning curve. Now go call an eviction attorney immediately.

Good luck.

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kaihacker

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by javipa


1. File an eviction
2. Report the check to the county prosecutor
3. Inform the deadbeat that you plan cooperate in the prosecution of their bogus check, and that (obviously) writing bad checks is a felony
4. Give deadbeat the option of evacuating the premises within five days in return for dropping the felony prosecution of their bogus check, and the eviction proceeding
5. Hire a professional manager
 




Pretty much sums it up.



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Gene Hacker

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ptiemann

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by javipa


BTW, I've "hammered" checks from a potential deadbeats.  In one instance, making a small deposit into the tenant's account, brought the balance up, so that I could cash his check.  Fifty bucks deposited to make a check good, is better than holding out for a 100% of nothing. 




regarding bad checks, a contractor told me a similar trick once.

He had received a check over $1000 for work done. (He is not licensed, so he does not have as much leverage.)

He goes to the client's bank to cash the check.
Teller says "not enough money in the bank"
He asks "Is there enough to clear a check over $900?"
Teller says "Yes" and he accepted $900 instead of nothing.

Now, the catch is, the teller was not allowed to tell him the exact balance. It could have been $995 or it could have been $905. I am not sure how the teller would deal with asking

$999?
$998?
$997?

and after 30 minutes

$21?
$20?
$19?

:-)

Also, he told me this trick in 2007 and I don't know in which year he actually did it. But I don't see why it would not work any more.

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Rookieinvestor

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Reply with quote  #8 
Javipa said
Quote:
It's gonna cost you two or three thousand dollars after all is said and done, but the faster you move, the less it will eventually cost.


Why not offer her$250 to move out  instead of paying the$2,000- $3,000 it will cost her  to evict her and add the missed rental income she is losing? Money is money to the criminal tenant she has in her rental.
javipa

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Reply with quote  #9 

If the deadbeat is saving a couple thousand in rent by squatting in our property for as long as possible; doesn't really care about their credit (obviously); can probably find another sucker "just in time" to keep the ball rolling; then the offer of $250 isn't gonna be that enticing in my experience.

It just sucks to pay a deadbeat to move, especially when we're paying them out of pocket, and not from their deposits.


__________________
"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals." --- Henry Ford

"149 Ways (Plus One) To Find Motivated Sellers and Get Them To Find You"
>>>Click To Download http://sub2marketdomination.com/how-to-find-motivated-sellers/
thejq

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Reply with quote  #10 
Sorry to hear about your experience. Some times you can tell if they are professional tenants by looking at their credit report to see if they have many evictions or just one. If you have time to learn the eviction process, it's really not that hard. If you're in SD county I can email you an eviction package in PDF with instructions and forms you need. I've evicted my tenants 3 times, 1st time with a lawyer and 2nd/3rd time by myself. Personally I think your case is a slam dunk, since she didn't even pay the move-in cost. That's not to say it's not time consuming and costly. If your tenant is smart and knows the rules, it can drag out. And time is money for you and your lawyer, even if you have a strong case. If you're busy professional, just hire a lawyer. If you're brave, have the time and want to use this as a learning experience, doing it yourself may not be a bad idea. All court houses offer free eviction clinic where licensed lawyers volunteer to help whoever needs it. You can actually fill out all the forms there and have them check for you for mistakes before filling. The only thing they won't do is to go to trial for you, but that's quite rare unless the tenant thinks she has a strong case.
kaihacker

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Reply with quote  #11 
There are also eviction services that are alot cheaper than lawyer and they are very good at what they do if its a strait forward eviction.

I handle my own evictions.  Its not that difficult.  

There is a NOLO book on California Evictions that is really good.  If you follow it exactly, you will get through it.



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Gene Hacker

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http://RiverLakeRE.com riverlakere@gmail.com

Home Inspections in Bakersfield and all of kern county:
http://bakersfieldinspections.com
Quest

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Reply with quote  #12 
Thanks everyone for the great help and advice on this topic. We hired an eviction service and gave the tenants a 3-day notice few days ago and filed for their eviction yesterday. Just got a text from the tenant that they received the eviction papers today and are telling me they will move out of the home by Wednesday and would like to hand the keys to me. The eviction company I am using is closed on the weekend, hence I cannot consult with them till Monday morning. What will happen if the tenants hand over the keys to me by Wednesday? Does it mean that the eviction case on them has to be dismissed and the eviction will not appear on their credit? Thanks for your help.
ptiemann

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Reply with quote  #13 
their record will remain clean if you don't take the next step (go to court).
no need to talk to the eviction company until you have taken possession.
Don't make the mistake to cancel the process before you have taken possession. I've gone through this a few times and the promises in phone calls or text msgs mean not much.

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PeterB

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Reply with quote  #14 
See if you can get the information that Mike Cantu puts out on being a landlord. The guy has it down! He often does things with Bruce Norris.
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RobertB

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quest
Thanks everyone for the great help and advice on this topic. We hired an eviction service and gave the tenants a 3-day notice few days ago and filed for their eviction yesterday. Just got a text from the tenant that they received the eviction papers today and are telling me they will move out of the home by Wednesday and would like to hand the keys to me. The eviction company I am using is closed on the weekend, hence I cannot consult with them till Monday morning. What will happen if the tenants hand over the keys to me by Wednesday? Does it mean that the eviction case on them has to be dismissed and the eviction will not appear on their credit? Thanks for your help.


You have already paid for the eviction.  If they leave the place empty and you have the locks changed you can cancel the eviction.  You will get a default judgement if they have not filed a reponse with the court within 5 days from the date of receipt.  You will save money cancelling but not a bunch.
kaihacker

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptiemann
Don't make the mistake to cancel the process before you have taken possession. I've gone through this a few times and the promises in phone calls or text msgs mean not much.


That is 100% right.

They lied to you in the past, you know they are not truthful or honorable.  Protect yourself and make sure you pursue the eviction until you have possession. 

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Gene Hacker

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thejq

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Reply with quote  #17 
If they don't respond within 5 days of the summon, you win by default. BTW, you don't have to appear in front of the judge to get the default judgement. Your lawyer should not charge you any more to file the CIV-100 (request to enter default). It can be done even if the tenant moved out, because he still owes you money. Once filed, the record will be in the system for 7 years. However in most cases, it won't show up in credit report, unless you go all the way to summary of judgement which may cost you more money or get a money judgement and get a collection agency involved. Depending on how bad you want to get back at him, you can ask him to at least pay the legal cost in exchange for a full dismissal after you get the keys back.
magbuk

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Reply with quote  #18 

I caught my cheating boyfriend red handed with a lady he was having an affair with and this was made possible by a ethical hacker i met through a comment posted by ray marcum about his good services. I started getting suspicious of my boyfriend since he became too possessive of his phone which wasn't the way he does before. I knew something was wrong somewhere which was why i did my search online and contacted the hacker for help and to my surprise, he got the job done perfectly without my boyfriend knowing about it. My heart is broken because i gave him my all not knowing he's just a liar. I am trying to save more people out there from being cheated on by their man or woman by sharing this post with you all. Don't hesitate to contact him for help at his email address spystealth.org AT gmail DOT com. He's one of the best.

javipa

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by magbuk

I caught my cheating boyfriend red handed with a lady he was having an affair with and this was made possible by a ethical hacker i met through a comment posted by ray marcum about his good services. I started getting suspicious of my boyfriend since he became too possessive of his phone which wasn't the way he does before. I knew something was wrong somewhere which was why i did my search online and contacted the hacker for help and to my surprise, he got the job done perfectly without my boyfriend knowing about it. My heart is broken because i gave him my all not knowing he's just a liar. I am trying to save more people out there from being cheated on by their man or woman by sharing this post with you all. Don't hesitate to contact him for help at his email address spystealth.org AT gmail DOT com. He's one of the best.



This post belongs in the classified forum. 

Now I know why your boyfriend cheated on you.  You're an illiterate turd, that spams discussion forums with ads for hackers.  [nono]

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"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals." --- Henry Ford

"149 Ways (Plus One) To Find Motivated Sellers and Get Them To Find You"
>>>Click To Download http://sub2marketdomination.com/how-to-find-motivated-sellers/
GeorgeB

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by javipa


This post belongs in the classified forum. 

Now I know why your boyfriend cheated on you.  You're an illiterate turd, that spams discussion forums with ads for hackers.  [nono]


The board is being spammed so badly, and there is no moderation on this board. I started reading your interesting post way above and only realized when I was done that it was from almost 5 years ago. Still interesting and relevant though. [smile]
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