Am I a landlord yet?

I posted a couple of weeks ago about some eviction questions. There was some debate as to weather I was a landlord or were the tenants walking all over me.

I decided to file for the eviction. My tenants suddenly came up with the 300.00 pet deposite, but they do not have the money for the court cost in addition to the deposite. So I am still following thru with the eviction. Before I would have said ok, now I have the deposite. But now I have made a decsion and am sticking with it. It sucks a bit for me to have to find someone new and hassle with the advertising and cleanup ect… but I’m doing it. I’m a little freaked out about what it will be like tomorrow.

Have I at least made a step in the right direction???

IMHO, get them out. You just found out that they will only come through under the threat of eviction. Unless you want to deal with this again and again in the future, you need new and better tenants. Next time they will wait until you jump through the hoops again and eventually they will hope you get tired of jumping through the hoops and quit trying.


Did you take the deposit money from them?

Just to clarify… I did NOT accept the deposite. I’m hoping that they will still be required to pay it because the dog has torn up the backyard…It used to be nice grass, not just a bunch of mud. I’m hoping they are still resposible to pay that and the court cost and still have to move…but since I have never evected someone before I’m not sure what to expect.

SAHM Investor,

Congratulations! You are well on your way to being a landlord. Throughout your landlording career, it will often be necessary to take out the trash (evict the deadbeats). It is absolutely critical that you enforce your lease and set an example of anyone that challenges you. As your portfolio grows, you will find that many of the tenants know each other (even across town). If you have a reputation as a fair, but tough landlord, your tenants will not challenge you often. On the other hand, if you have the reputation of being a push-over, you’ll attract scumbags like a cow pattie attracts flies!

YOU DID GOOD! Keep it up.


Kudos on putting your foot down. It’s always good when you have multiple tenants in close proximity for them to see what is going to happen if they decide to mess with you.

You will find better tenants to replace the faulty ones.

Well, I’m still stuck with them for now. They showed up with the money order for the 300.00 and told the judge that I had refused it on Friday when they tried to give it to me. I said that I would not accept it without the 270.00 I spent for court costs. The judge asked them when could they come up with the 270 and they said next month… so he gave them till the end of April to come up with that and if they don’t have it then I can continue with the eviction… I really tried. This is a “pay to stay” state and I guess they treated it like a late rent situation.

I have been telling myself today that at least they know I’m serious now and when they basically ended up with a 270.00 late fee for a 300.00 deposite maybe they will think twice before trying to push me around again.

I must admit, I do feel a bid defeated still. At least I know what to expect for next time I decide to evict someone.

In this business you will find out that once tenants fall behind on rent they very seldom catch up. They would rather stall as much time as possible, save up some cash and move to another place.

You should definitely be strict with your tenants, just as strict as the bank is with you. Try to screen your prospects better and you will avoid a lot of headaches.

Good Luck


SAHM Investor,

You should not feel defeated! You won on many levels. First, the judge ordered them to pay you the court costs - Great. You got the deposit. Great. The tenants know you’re serious and will act if they don’t follow the lease. GREAT! Looks like you won big time to me!

Your only mistake is living in a socialist state. Move on up here to one of the midwest’s capitalist states. We know how to treat deadbeat tenants!


Where are you SAHM?


Thanks for the replies. I am feeling a bit more confident and will be fair but strict from now on. I promise!! I still have much more to learn so I’m sure you will see me lurking around here quite a bit!

Keith, I’m in Minnesota.

Shocking…your state is ‘blue’ as was your judge…


I live in Minnesota and find the same defeated feeling sometimes. My wife hates the power the tenants have. That is why I no longer fear vacancies only bad tenants. Not cutting corners on tenant screening and following your lease agreement is a lesson only learned the hard way. So congradulations you learned a necessary one. Even after all this you will probably be like me and be tempted to cut corners on your tenant screening just to get a unit filled. Don’t!!!

  1. Call the last two landlords (no exceptions)
  2. Call employers (no exceptions)
  3. Backround checks (no exceptions)
  4. Always get first month and deposit before letting them move in (no exceptions)
  5. Never let a tenant move in without the deposit, if you don’t get it before they move in you will never get it. Plus without the deposit they will just not pay the last month when they move out. (no exceptions)

Good Job SAHM

Thanks Iron Range. I am working on a nice big emergency fund to cover vacant homes because I no longer want to take the first person just to get the bills paid… I want the freedom of knowing I can cover vacant units and wait for a good tenant. I will take your advice and stick to the “no exception” rule!

Vacancy expense should be covered in your operating expenses. Therefore, you shouldn’t need a big pile of cash for vacancies once you acquire a few properties. Your cash flow should cover it. You are most vulnerable to vacancies when you have only 2 or 3 houses.

Good Luck,


SAHM, where you and I invest there is an abundant supply of tenants. So we can be extra picky and still fill our units very fast. I like to buy vacant properties because most of my headaches have come from the tenants I inherited from the sellers and not from the tenants I put into my properties. I would say 1/3 of the tenants I inharit end up being evicted. Plus vacant properties are usually cheaper and much easier to low ball.

SAHM, where we invest if you have the utilities in the tenants name you are still responsible for the bill. So if the tenant decides to skip town and not pay their utility bill, then you are responsible for it. If you refuse to pay it then they will put a lien on your property. If you refuse to agree to these conditions then they will refuse to put the utilities in the tenant’s name. I just wanted to give you something else to look forward to. :biggrin

If anyone is still reading this post, I’ll give a little update and ask for more advice. We were in court for eviction just one week ago… and guess what.? They have not showed up with rent yet ! I want to go back and fill out another eviction summons. These are my questions…

!. Since this is a pay to stay state, can I fill out court papers to evict them and hope that they can’t come op with all the court costs?? (remember, they now 270.00 from last weeks court costs)
2. If I do fill out the papers to evict them can I accept rent and late fees or do I need to wait until the court date? I’m not quite sure I understand the pay to stay thing. Even if they get evicted arent’ they still responsible for the rent/late fees/court costs ect… or do I just have to go after that in another court? It doesn’t seem right that they should get a free months rent if they are being evicted, but I’m just not clear on this.

ugh! just when I thing I’m doing good, more questions come up!! And to top off my frustration we got more snow yesterday!!! Where is spring???

You should be asking an attorney that is familiar with the tenant/landlord laws in your state.