Ok my ignorance is costing me on this one. I had my court date today to have my first non paying tenants evicted from a house. I really thought I had done my homework but the judge says I have to start all over. :banghead
Here is what I did.
- Sent the tenants a 7 day notice to pay or quit letter via certified mail. Wait 7 days.
- Paid $216 court fees to file an unlawful detainer.
- Paid process server $50 to personally serve tenant “Statement of Claim: Unlawful Detainer” which she did the next day.
- Wait 14 days and no response from tenant.
- Pay $50 for hearing today for judge to order eviction in 14 days.
However, the judge said I have to start all over because the “Notice to Pay or Quit” can’t be sent by Certified Mail. It has to be either Posted on the door or given to tenant by process server.
What am I missing here? On the “Statement of Claim-Unlawful Detainer,” my step 3, which I had given to tenant by a process server, we are given 4 options of which one is “Service by Certified Mail”
Are we allowed to use Certified Mail for that but not the Notice to pay or quit? That makes no sense to me. Basically he said if I would have stuck the letter on the door, I would have been fine. But because I didn’t do this, I sent it via Certified Mail, it was useless and I have to start all over.
Have any of you had this happen? or Please maybe tell me if there is something else I may be missing.
Again I am in Alabama.
The lease is month to month is that matters.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Sometimes the judges in eviction court are not the best judges on the local bench. It’s sometimes a sort of a punishment duty for the judges who have messed up or are generally incompetant.
So, unfortunately, not all eviction judges know and follow eviction law. That’s why it’s important to learn what your local eviction court allows and doesn’t allow.
It’s also important to have actually read your local eviction laws before you start. The law probably specifies that you nail and mail instead of sending certified. If it says that certified is OK, it will still be faster for you to start over than to appeal the ruling.
The trouble with certified is that every tenant knows that a certified letter is bad news, so they simply refuse to pick them up. That’s why certified is not generally used to give notices to tenants.
Be thankful you can nail. Some district require a process server, and that not only costs money, but deadbeat tenants can get pretty good at dodging a process server.
I personally don’t do rentals.But a good friend of mine does.He said the court system is so tilted.He’s had decent luck just going to the deadbeats and saying “Look you’re two months behind,I’m losing money and need you out here’s $200 be out by 5pm tommorow and it’s yours.Otherwise I’ll have to take you to court and then you’ll still get kicked out with a judgement against you”.
He swears it has worked twice.It sucks to have to pay them,but you’d spend it plus more time in court just the same.This way is just quicker to get them out and good tenants in.Hope this third party advise helps,best luck.
Thank you both for your help. I will let you all know it all turns out.