Property Managers, Commercial Tenants and Evictions

Your commercial tenant failed to pay rent. You have heard that things are not going very well for them, but now it really is apparent. As a property manager your own duty and obligation is to solve the issue as quickly as possible. When the tenant failed to pay by the due date they have efficiently breached the lease and you are entitled to evict the tenant from the real estate. An eviction lawsuit commonly known as an Unlawful Detainer action is really a fairly straightforward legal process. The main thing for property managers to know would be that the steps involved in this process are vital and must be followed to the letter of the law. A real estate attorney representing both parties in the action frequently occurs. If your property manager has adopted the law, given proper notice, and has a detailed file of all of the correspondence between the tenant and their company the unlawful detainer action should go fairly smoothly and the landlord or owner should prevail.

The First Step Is To Resolve Rent Payment Issue If Possible

If possible the property manager should make every effort to obtain the tenant to make the rent payments plus bring their lease current. Issue involves waiting a few extra times for payment maybe this would be the very best course of action instead of filing a lawsuit. Your individual company policies and best practices can dictate this action, but it would be better for all parties to resolve before litigation.

Three-Day Notice Drafted

If a payment is not forthcoming then a ‘three-day notice to pay or quit’ must be ready and properly served on the tenant. This notice must be in a particular legal format. A commercial proprietor, landlord or property manager can choose between different types of 3-day notices; 1) specifies the precise amount of rent owed; or 2) estimates the amount of rent owed – usually when a renter is paying a percentage rent.

When the lease requires the tenant to pay for rent and other separate amounts intended for triple net or CAM charges, the property manager should get the proper advice on whether or not two separate plus distinct notices are required to be offered. For example , if the property manager or landlord accepts an overpayment of the rent because they have miscalculated as well as the tenant overpaid estimated rents plus CAM charges this may lead to the tenant victory in the unlawful detainer action. This would also possibly provide the tenant the right to attorneys’ costs. It is critical to be correct in this phase.

The Three-Day Notice Must Be Properly and Legally Served

The renter is deemed served when they are personally served with the three-day see, or a responsible person at the place of business is personally served on the premises. In the event no one is available the landlord or property manager can attach the notice to the front entry door of the business premises while simultaneously sending a copy of the three-day notice by certified mail come back receipt requested. The landlord or even property manager must then make a ‘proof of service’ in the correct format which states in appropriate part that the ‘three-day notice’ has been served on the tenant, or describe the method of service.

The Property Manager or Landlord Has a Three Day time Waiting Period Required for Service to work

After properly serving the three-day notice a three day waiting period begins on the next working day. If the third day falls on the weekend or holiday the three day waiting period is extended to another business day.

If the tenant decides to pay for all rent due at this point or corrects any outstanding violation of the lease terms then the eviction process ceases. If the tenant makes incomplete payment the landlord or home manager can accept partial transaction but must notify the tenant that they are not waiving their privileges to proceed with an eviction.

When the tenant has violated the particular lease by way of some criminal act or conduct then the eviction process continues.

At the end of the three day waiting around period the landlord or house manager may go forward with filing and serving a complaint plus summons.

Summons and Complaint are ready and Served

In the event that the renter has failed to cure their excellent rent violation, or failed to remedy any other violation that they have been home notified of, then the landlord or even property manager may proceed with filing and serving the summons and complaint to the tenant. A 3rd party not involved with the action, generally a registered process server can be hired for a fee to function the papers on the tenant. The summons, complaint and proof of assistance must then be filed using the court clerk’s office together with a copy of the lease, and then real estate served three-day notice and its proof of service.

Technical Mistakes Can Cause Delays

If the landlord or property manager has taken this process on by themselves there is a possibility that they have made a specialized error in the processing, preparing, offering, and filing these documents. There are many technical areas of the law which should be followed or will result will be substantial delays if they are not. A tenant who hires an attorney will likely find these technical errors, when the court doesn’t find the errors. This tends to result in delays which means money towards the property owner. The best course of action in these circumstances is to hire an eviction lawyer to help prevent delays and additional costs for the owner.

Court Proceedings Require that All Parties Appear in Front of the Judge

If the tenant does not match the eviction

A properly served tenant has five days to oppose the eviction. If substituted program was used then the tenant could have fifteen days to file a responsive pleading to the action. If the renter fails to oppose the eviction the particular landlord or property manager will certainly seek a default judgment associated with possession of the premises. This will almost certainly be granted and the case will be referred to the Sheriff’s office regarding tenant lockout (see below).

If the tenant contests the eviction

When the tenant hires an attorney and challenges the eviction then things is going to take a while longer. The tenant will be granted more time to prepare and you will have approximately thirty-day period in which a test will be set. If the landlord wins then the tenant will have to pay the rent and other losses most likely which includes attorneys’ fees. If the tenant is the landlord may have to pay attorneys’ fees. In this situation a property supervisor really needs to be represented by counsel.

The Landlord or Property Manager has the Right to Lockout the Tenant

Assuming a landlord victory the particular county sheriff will post a ‘Five-Day Notice to Vacate’ the particular premises on the tenant’s door or even entry into the business. On the sixth day the sheriff meets the particular landlord or property manager on the property. The landlord or property manager then receives a receipt of possession of the property.
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When the tenant is still there when the sheriff happens, the sheriff will then physically remove the tenant. The landlord or property manager will now have a locksmith come and change the locks to keep the particular tenant out.

Notice to State Property

If the tenant leaves behind private property there are state statutes that will deal with this specific issue. The homeowner or property manager must provide the tenant fifteen days after the lockout period to claim any possessions from the property, or if the renter left before the lockout, eighteen (18) days after the mailing of the “notice of belief of abandonment” to the tenant’s last known address. The particular notice must describe the property with specificity so the tenant can determine it, and the notice must also describe the storage costs. A advisable practice for a landlord or real estate manager would be to photograph and record all of the tenants’ belongings so that there is not a later dispute.

It is not lawful for a landlord or property manager to hold a tenant’s personal real estate as security for payment of money awarded by a court judgment.

Unclaimed Property Disposed of or Sold

Once the fifteen day waiting period is over the landlord or property manager can dispose of the tenant’s private property if it is worth less than $750 or $1. 00 per square foot, whichever is greater. If the property is worth more the homeowner or property manager must retail it through a public sale held right after properly published notice with the profits turned over to the county, less expenses.


Although this article provides briefly touched upon this process you should see that this is not a simple process, but is really a process which should be taken seriously plus professionally. It is always a best practice to have eviction attorney help a homeowner and/or a property manager through this method.