What’s the best way to collect unpaid rentals and the fine for damaged property after an eviction?

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What’s the best way to collect unpaid rentals and the fine for damaged property after an eviction?

My tenants are evicted about 5 days ago because of unpaid rentals (they owe 4mons rental) Now the property is uninhabitable because of bad smell and damages they made so much. They did not return one of garage door openers yet and don’t respond to my call. They were going to pay me the balance as soon as they get tax return but didn’t pay anything yet. I plan to file for garnishment and bank levy. Is it worth to try even if they don’t get wage? Do I need to sue in small claims court? Or should I hire a lawyer?

Asked on February 3, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Tennessee

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Iam so sorry for the situation. Please take pictures or a movie and document the problems. First, when you sued to evict did you also sue for back rent owed? Generally you do both at the same time and a judgement is entered when you receive the order of eviction. Please double check on that. Next, did you receive a security deposit when you moved in? That security should be used for the amage that was incurred above normal wear and tear. If there is more then yes, sue in small claims court. Get estimates for repair and keep really good records. Good luck.


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