Monday, July 7, 2014

How To Fill Out A Summons For Unlawful Detainer

I have been asked a number of times from novice landlords how to evict a tenant who is not paying their rent. 

First you give them what is called a 5 Day Pay Or Quit Notice. The Roanoke City courthouse says that notice is sufficient if it states something to the effect: Date, Name of Tenant and that they are behind in their rent by whatever amount and you are giving them a 5 days notice to pay that amount or you will terminate the rental agreement and seek to have them evicted. You also need to sign the pay or quit notice.

You can either post that notice on the door of the unit or you can mail it to the tenant. Standard first class mail is acceptable.

Send me an email and I can give you a copy of my 5 Day Pay Or Quit notice if you want something specific. If you don't have my email address you will need to sign up to be on our mailing list in the top right of this website. I don't post my email address on this website because that leads to spam bots picking it up.

Click on the images below. I am attaching a copy of a filled out unlawful detainer. It includes the wording from our attorney Ross Hart who suggested a great way to ensure that you can get a judgement for any amount that is due no matter when the final court date is. If you are a novice landlord you probably don't understand why this is required under the automatic assumption that you naturally would get everything you are owed however this is not always true.

Other things you may not understand:
* 6% DOJ means you are asking for 6% interest from the Date Of Judgement
* As of today, July 2014, your court costs will be $48 for the unlawful detainer. Then another $12 dollars for each and every person you evict that pays the sheriff to serve the papers. That adds up. If you use a process server such as Paul Yengst, he charges as of today $10 total no matter how many people you are serving. That's why I have $58 listed in the line before costs. If you are using a process server you have to write their name on the Unlawful Detainer so they know to give it to them and not charge you the sheriff fees.
* I always write Reasonable in the attorney fees area. If the tenant contests what they owe you and you have an LLC you will need an attorney to come back with you for the contested date unless you are there just as a witness. Reasonable allows the judge to award your attorney what they see as fair.
* Notice that I wrote any and all other occupants next to the persons name I am evicting. This is important. If the tenants moved in some other people that you don't know about or don't know their name you have to use this statement. Otherwise if they do not leave after you got judgement, the sheriff will come to the house and ONLY kick out the person you evicted. You will likely have to go back to court again to kick out the remaining people as the police often aren't concerned by people trespassing in your house if they were invited there by the former tenant. Sometimes they pick and choose which laws to enforce and when it comes to the supposed Rich Landlord laws often fall to the side.


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