RENT Magazine Q1 '23

When suing for back rent, the landlord fails to add an extra month.

Mistake #3.

The former tenant failed to submit a 30- day written notice before the due date. Some states require a 60-day notice to end a tenancy, which would add two month’s rent onto the original amount. This is a big one because you could be leaving money on the table.

Mistake #4.

No plan in place for how to present pictures to the judge.

Many times, I have witnessed the litigants bombarding the judge with pictures of the damages. Reduce the pictures to a minimum and zero in on the specific damage. Present the pictures in the order that makes most sense. We do not want the judge to get confused or frustrated.

Mistake #5.

Not bringing a witness to the small claims hearing when suing for damages.

The party bringing the action has the burden of proof. After the tenant moves out, the landlord must present pictures and receipts of the damages. The judge can make a clearer decision if there is a witness to the damages, such as a maintenance professional.

If you follow these five simple steps, in addition to conducting a thorough tenant credit report and background screening, you will have a better chance of recouping the money owed to you.

CYNTHIA SCHMIDT Founder Collect Back Rent LLC

Cynthia has been a landlord for 30 years with over 500 tenants. After going through several evictions and successfully collecting court judgments herself, she started buying court judgments. Since then, she has made over $250,000 in judgment collection and today shares her collecting tips with thousands of landlords. Read Cynthia’s latest book, Ultimate Rent Collection and Judgment Recovery Manual to learn how you can collect the money tenants owe you.


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