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Is your tenant not paying his rent?

Nowadays it is quite common to find the situation where you are renting your property out, but the tenant does not pay the rent on time and ens up owing a substantial amount of rent. The first matter to take into account is that the landlord does not have the legal duty to bear non-payment or delays on the tenant´s side (the rent should be paid within the first 7 days of each month).

However, if you find yourself in a situation where the rent has not been paid and several months of rental income are outstanding, it is advisable to seek expert advice in order to expedite the payment of the debt, as well as to evict the tenants. In order to do so, you needn´t wait until you are owed a couple of months’ worth rent, on the contrary, you are able to file a lawsuit requesting the court to evict the tenants even if only one month´s rent is outstanding.

In this case, the first decision to be made is whether you would like to request the tenants to pay all the pending sums or if you prefer to request the Court to evict them only.

If you chose the second option, the first action to be taken is to send a burofax or registered letter to the tenants, granting them a deadline of 30 days to proceed with the payment, under penalty of not being able to pay at a later stage in order to continue the lease.

Once the burofax has been sent, if the tenants have not paid within the deadline, you may file a lawsuit requesting payment of the amounts owed as well as their eviction. In order to do so, you must gather the following documents:

  • Title Deed showing that you are the legal owner of the property
  • Rental contract
  • Burofax

How does the eviction process actually work?

The eviction due to non-payment of the rent is a procedure known as oral procedure. The claimant files the lawsuit before the Courts. Once the defendant has been served with the claim, he will be given ten days to contest the lawsuit. It is needless to say that the defendant may not pay the amounts owed in order to discontinue the proceedings and continue renting out the property as his chance to do so has already passed with the deadline given in the burofax.

After the defendant has contested the claim (if he does not contest, he will be declared in contempt of Court and the procedure will carry on without taking him into account), a hearing may take place. The Judge will issue a ruling several days after the hearing.

Imagine you have won the case and have a ruling in your favour. What happens next? It is important for you to understand that the enforcement of this ruling is not automatic and that if the tenant does not voluntarily leave the property, you must file a second claim in order to enforce the Court´s judgment. The Judge will then appoint a date and a time for the eviction to take place. In order to do so, the Court will engage a locksmith to open the door and change the lock as well as Police Officers in order to take care of security.

If as a landlord you are having trouble with your tenants, contact Lexland and seek expert advice. We are here to help you.