What would be some advice i would need to succeed in small claims court regarding an evicted tenant?

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What would be some advice i would need to succeed in small claims court regarding an evicted tenant?

I entered a signed and notarized lease to purchase contract with an individual for 2 years. I had to evict him after a year because he was always late on the payments and crashed my credit. He still owes me for 2 months, the amount of the taxes for the year, the repair cost for the central Heating/AC unit, and he didn’t have insurance on the house. All of this was stated as his responsibility in the contract. I would like to get the amount of the repairs and the 2 months payment from him which adds up to $4108. Small claims only reaches to $3500 but I could settle for that.

Asked on October 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Mississippi

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could sue in traditional civil court to go for the total expenditures and costs and sue for court costs, as well. If you sue in small claims court, you would be losing at a minimum of $600.00 to start. Either way, you need to show evidence (hard evidence) to prove your case. These items about which you are suing him must have been in writing; otherwise they will not be considered within the parameters of the statute of frauds. You have to show or prove that he broke the heating/ac unit and that it was not simply a result of age of the unit or act of God (think power outage, flood, wind, etc). You need to prove he was to pay for the taxes for the year but keep in mind those taxes were in your name, so even if he were to pay you or pay the taxes directly, you had a responsibility to mitigate your damages by paying and then suing him on the back end to get reimbursed. You will most likely prevail on the back rent and the insurance issue would only come into play if he you are looking to get a ruling on a total breach of contract.


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