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What should I do as a landlord whose tenant will not pay rent and also has bills due for water bill to landlord.

Cocoa, FL |

I have a tenant who will not abide by lease agreements given every opurtunity to pay rent/water bill. Tenant did not pay rent in month of April 1st lease states that if not paid by 5th 50.00 charge applies. Also because of an outstanding water bill tentant was using water under landlord's name tried editing lease for tenant to get water in uncle's name but was not able due do to her outstanding debt tenant paid landlord 1st water bill but 2 others tenant recieved funds from mother in law but was asked to hold it until rent was due on the 1st so on the 1st tenant stated she spent the money so I had lock put on water meter until bills were due and after the 5th posted 3 day notice tenant recieved and asked to move out on the 1st of May Note Tenant would not answer any calls from landlord!

Attorney Answers 2


Putting a lock on water might make you subject to sanctions. Hire a L/T attorney to file eviction and collection action.
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Mr. Sarno is licensed to practice law in NJ and NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Sarno strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information.

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If you are an experienced landlord you can file our own eviction but it can be VERY TRICKY because of procedural requirements. One risk is that if you screw up a notice requirement or other procedural matter, the eviction will fail and you have to start over - meanwhile the tenant is still in possession. SO, the best advice is to get a Landlord/Tenant attorney to handle it for you. You should also be very careful not do do anything that deprives the tenant of possession, water, utilities, etc. This kind of "self help" can get you counter-sued for constructive (wrongful) eviction. The landlord has to take the high road at all times - an experienced attorney in your area should know the ropes.

Good luck


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