Do I need an eviction judgement before I can file a small claims case to gain back unpaid rent?
I was far too easy on my tenants who kept giving me sob stories. I allowed flexibility on collection of rent payments and now they have moved with 2 months of unpaid rent that cannot be allocated to the security deposit. They have moved out but they would not agree to put in writing how they plan on paying the unpaid rent.
Since I never evicted them, can I still sue them for the unpaid rent in small claims court? Will the judge be in the tenant's favor because I, the landlord, acted incompetently for being flexible with them?
No, they are for seperate things. A monetary judgement is for money. An FED is to forcably regain possession of your property. In some states the two can be combined, you can get the FED and a monetary judgement at the same time.