Landlord/tenant law is full of pitfalls, traps and loopholes that can either benefit or hurt the landlord or the tenant. The forms that are provided by the Court do not always tell the whole story, and our observation is that almost everybody who attempts an eviction or defend an eviction for the first time does it wrong.
Call us for a quick consultation on the phone at (603) 692-4282 and we can give you directions or do it for you as may make sense in the situation.
The basic thing to know is, that if you have a lease, you have the right to remain in possession until the end of your term unless you breach the lease or fail to pay. The provisions of the lease can extend the terms and make it more beneficial to the tenant and can never be used to shorten the timelines to be more beneficial for the landlord.
Notices and Writs
Notices to Evict and Demands for Rent need to be filled out precisely and served exactly by either in-hand or posting on the door. The most common misperception I see is people sending emails, letters or certified mails of these notices, which is not legally and fully effective. Once you give a notice, you must provide clear dates on said documents. If your tenant is still in possession or you, as the tenant, have decided not to leave, there must be a Landlord/Tenant Writ filed with the district court and served by a sheriff and a hearing and decision made before you can be forced to do anything. Landlords cannot lock you out nor interrupt utility services or a 540-A Petition will be filed which allows the award of attorney’s fees and costs and sometimes double damages.
As a tenant, if you have moved out, you have rights. As a landlord, you must provide a detailed itemization of damages to the property supported by invoices by competent contractors for any damage and sent to the last known address within 30 days. A security deposit can only be allowed against damage and not ordinary wear and tear. If no accounting is provided, the tenant may be entitled to double the return of the security deposit and attorney’s fees. Personal property must be stored after the last day that the tenant is in possession for seven days without charge and can only be disposed of after that.
Call for Competent Advice
In conclusion, we have known landlords to file bankruptcy because of enormous penalties assigned against them by judges when they thought they did nothing wrong and tenants that have lost security deposits when they should have received them. It is easy enough to give us a call at(603) 692-4282 and get competent legal advice before it is too late.