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The Eviction Shop » Blog Archive » How Late Can a Tenant Save Their Place?

How Late Can a Tenant Save Their Place?

Author: Todd Christiansen | Category: My Evictions

I wasn’t sure how to get that all into a title.  I guess what I as trying to convey was, “What is the last minute that a tenant can pay you the rent and everything and save themselves from being removed by the sheriff?”

The answer may surprise you, but I will start with a story.  A customer of mine had a tenant that stopped paying in November.  As many tenants do, she continued to promise that she was working on getting some money.  December came and she didn’t have the back rent or the current month rent.  She then claimed that she was going to withdraw money from her 401K.  That took a couple weeks.  My customer finally gave her an eviction notice, saying that she had until X day to pay or he was filing an eviction.  She missed the date.  He filed the eviction.

She showed up in court (with no money) saying she would pay him by the following Friday (about 4 days).  The interesting part of this is that by the time that they had gone to court, January’s rent was also due.  He agreed to a payment plan of just a couple days.  Friday came and went, no call, no money.  My customer went back down to court and got the Writ on Wednesday.  He scheduled the sheriff for Friday at 1pm.  He gets a call from the daughter (who lives at the house and is on the lease, but he never deals with).  She had received the Writ and was shocked to find out her mom (my customer’s contact) was not paying the rent despite the daughter contributing her portion.  My customer stood fast and said that the sherriff was going to be out at 1pm on Friday.  At noon on Friday, the daughter called and said she had all the back rent in cash for November and December and would pay January in 7 days.  My customer showed up and collected the rent and then cancelled the sheriff.

This is about as close to moving them out as I have ever seen.  I have never had a tenant pay 1 hour before the sheriff is going to remove them.

One more interesting piece of good work on my customer’s part was that he took the cash, but he actually still has the tenant on the hook for the January rent.  It was in the court payment agreement so she agreed to pay it.  Since he already got the writ, if she didn’t pay the January rent when she committed to paying it, he simply calls the sheriff again (no additional fees since they were already paid) and has her moved out within 48 hours.

Understanding the eviction complaint and how to evict a tenant is critical to using all the leverage at your disposal as a landlord.

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