Be Prepared

Author: Todd Christiansen | Category: Eviction

I have said this several times, but if you are planning do have your first eviction, be prepared.  I think one of the best educations is to go down to the courthouse several days before your eviction hearing and sit through another eviction court.  Listen to what the judge asks.  Listen to how the landlord and tenants respond.  Are there places that the landlord get’s tripped up?  Did they say something that later came back to haunt them in court?

Make sure you bring everything that you may need to justify your case.  Bring a copy of the lease, a copy of the tenant’s rent statement (if you are evicting for non-payment of rent), pictures of the property, signed affidavits, and anything else that you may need to win your case.  Think like you are Perry Mason or some other fancy attorney.  What would they want in their briefcase?

Get to court early on the day of the eviction.  Hennepin County eviction court is especially busy at 8:30 in the morning and you could end up waiting 20-30 minutes in line to get through security.  If you are late, you may be able to call the clerk, but the judge will not be happy and could award the case to the tenant by default.  I see many tenants show up late.  In fact, I had one tenant call me on my cell phone and say she was in court and wondering if I was still there.  I was on the other side of town as court started almost 2 hours prior!  It was done and she lost.

Now, this may not be the nicest set of thoughts to give landlords, but here they are:  I find that most often, the tenants lose the case for themselves by talking too much or arguing with the judge.  They also will come completely unprepared or miss court completely because they are late.  You are there to win the case, don’t feel bad for them or give them another chance.  Let them shoot themselves in the foot.  In fact, I often try to say as little as possible in court to remain respectful and to let the tenant show they don’t have a clue!

 

 

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