Connie from Dallas became a member of the Collect Back Rent team in January. Connie was a retired teacher who owns 9 rental units. She had a tenant who moved out of her rental and owed her 2 months rent and $2,000 in damages. Connie had heard the bad luck stories and he moved out without warning.
Connie had received $1,000 for the security deposit, so her first step is to submit an itemized statement of where the security deposit was scattered. The itemized security deposit statement ($1,000) she sent to the tenant deducted the $1,000 in damages, leaving a balance of $1,000 in damages. Included in the security deposit letter was a Notice of Demand for $3,000 (rent and remaining damages). Connie sent the itemized statement and demand notice by certified mail, return receipt requested.
After 30 days, the former tenant did not respond, so Connie filed a small claims case for $3,000 ($2,000 rent, $1,000 damages plus court costs). I suggested to Connie that she use a licensed process server to deliver the short documents. During this time, the defendant had retained an attorney. Small claims documents must be served on the defendant and defendant’s attorney.
Note: Connie had never been in a courtroom, much less in front of a judge. I received several calls from tutoring to prepare her for the court hearing, Connie had the “Move-In Checklist” that shows the judge what the rent was like when the defendant moved out. She had her state approved lease, security deposit letter, demand notice, proof of service, photos and damage receipts to present. My suggestion was to show one maybe two photos of each of the damage I get when the carpet she replaced was purchased. Another tip is to bring a witness to the court hearing when she sues for damages. He can be the property manager, the maintenance staff or the business partner.
Trial day: She presented her case before the Judge and the defendant’s attorney perfectly. The defendant’s attorney reached a settlement of $2,700 on the alleged amount of $3,000; Connie was quick to agree. She couldn’t believe it.
You have already been paid and have gained a mountain of knowledge with confidence. She walked into the courtroom and beat up a lawyer! Success story of a landlord who sought out the training and is evolving the age-old landlord profession!