In an eviction action what happens in court insofar asactuallycollecting the back due rent?

UPDATED: Jul 25, 2011

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In an eviction action what happens in court insofar asactuallycollecting the back due rent?

I’m planning to evict a tenant who still hasn’t paid their damage deposit, nor this or last month’s rent. We tried to make payment arrangements with her, but she has not fulfilled any of them. She says she’ll have the money at the end of this month but we’re done dealing with her and trying to chase down the rent. If we evict her, will the judge give us whatever money she brings to court? Since the court date would occur next month, will the judge consider next month’s rent as well if she brings enough for her back rent? How can we collect on what is owed to us, plus the court fees and any damages to her apartment?

Asked on July 25, 2011 Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Eviction is a separate proceeding from seeking back rent. Eviction looks to settle only possession of the apartment; a landlord brings it to get rid of a tenant who doesn't pay, who damages the premises, who breaches the lease in some other way, etc.

Because eviction is concerned only with possession, you generally cannot get money in the eviction proceeding, unless in a nonpayment case, the tenant brings the full amount owed and pays it, in which case you then can't evict them (if they pay up prior to eviction, they get to stay).

You have a right to the back rent owed, but you would need to seek it in a separate lawsuit, though you may file that suit in small claims court, if the amount if underneath the small claims jurisdictional limit, in order to save on court and lawyer fees.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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