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Eviction Attorney

Q&A with John Reno, Eviction Attorney

The Landlord Protection Agency® is proud to introduce John Reno, Esq., a highly experienced Landlord - Tenant attorney based on Long Island, NY.

Mr. Reno has engaged in Landlord / Tenant practice in the District Courts of Nassau and Suffolk for the last 30 years. He prides himself on prompt legal action and direct client service.

"Over ninety percent of our practice in the Landlord Tenant courts consists of evictions of tenants, primarily for non-payment of rent. We also assist landlords in preparation and/or review of leases and consultation on other matters affecting the Landlord - Tenant relationship.

We find that Landlords who contact us have often waited too long to commence an eviction, usually in an understandable effort to resolve problems amicably. Landlords need attorneys who will not compound the problem with unnecessary delays or expenses. For this reason, our main priority is immediate action. In most cases, we commence an eviction within 3 days of being hired and have our client's cases in Court within 7 to 10 days of being hired."

If you are a landlord with a tenant problem you'd like to ask a question about, please feel free to e-mail me your question.
Please Note: Mr. Reno is an active practicing attorney with limited time and will do his best to respond to relevant questions. If using an I-phone or mobile device, please use full sentences and punctuation so we can understand you. The high volume of e-mails may require the LPA to enter your question into the LPA's Landlord Q&A Forum.

If you are a landlord with a tenant problem you'd like to ask a question about, please feel free to e-mail me your question.

Submit a landlord / tenant question for Mr. Reno
Please try to keep your questions as short and to the point as possible.

John Reno also does Mortgage Loan Modifications (Nationwide).
(Mention The LPA for a 10% discount!)

If you are a Landlord on Long Island, NY, and wish for Mr. Reno to handle your landlord - tenant case,
please provide your contact information: e-mail Mr. Reno (


Published 2015-06-29

Dear Mr. Reno:
If my tenant, in a two family owner occupied house, has changed the locks of the front door and back door to the apartment, can I change the locks without notification?


A: If you're talking about your locks, go for it. But if you're talking about the tenant's locks, not so much (can't do it.) Maybe I didn't understand the question? Somethings missing from this scenario. They're not locking YOU out are they? Is there a reason you need access? If not, don't go to war over this- it's not worth it.

Dear Mr. Reno:
My tenant filed for bankruptcy. She is not behind in her rent never was late Itís a modest 2 bed one bath apartment with average rent Cant the courts and or trustee break the lease?
Can there be any affect against us. Can they tell me that the payments are on hold (even though she is current)

Scott V., Pennsylvania

A: Yes, a bankruptcy court can do anything, as far as I can tell. If they can tell an employee that your pension is now cut in half, they wont have a problem ending your leasehold.

But I would be surprised. What makes you think the tenant wants out? They have to live somewhere. Bankruptcy for tenants is usually a credit card thing. You're probably only listed as a creditor as a formality. That's my take.


Published 2015-06-27

Dear Mr. Reno:
Hi I am a landlord via inheritance. My dad died and left the property in New York for my mom and me. 50/50. We have a tenant at will (my cousin) that is abusing my mom not paying rent and is occupying the apartment that can be bringing in money. What can I do to help rent wise as my mom might be too soft on my cousin? I am willing to take action.

Akeel S., NY

A: Who is the Executor? Executor must act. May need Surrogate's (estate) Court appointment.
Executor needs to serve 30 day notice. Evict deadbeat as holdover.
Any questions?


Published 2015-06-26

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have a single LODGER that has been with me since May 13, 2015, which is pro rated rent. She never paid first month's rent for June, instead served me a 21 day notice to vacate, and we agreed that she can use her dep. to cover her notice. She has disappeared on June 11 and has been gone since and has not removed her belongings. I gave her a 3 day notice to pay or vacate through text message. If she doesn't respond, can I pack her things, place it in a secure area, and give her ten days to retrieve her things? My Lodger has breeched our rental agreement, her 21-Day Notice to Vacate that she has served me, and had told me that she would come to get her things after her notice to vacate expired. All this and did not keep her word.

Tiana Asis, CA

A: You're looking for a shortcut Tiana & that's a risk. I know you think she's out, and you may be right but technically she's still in possession, she hasn't been legally evicted and if she shows up you're out on a limb.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I need help evicting a tenant for non payment. It's in yonkers. I don't know how much it would cost and how long it would take. Please help. I also want to know if I can affect her credit for the amount due.


A: After you win your case, you'll get a judgment for moneys owed and that will affect her credit. But I can't help you find a lawyer, that's why we have the yellow pages- I mean google (Showing my age?)

Dear Mr. Reno:
multi-family, NON owner occupied, in NJ I have a tenant that has constant interaction with the police, she has restraining orders against a boyfriend (so police are called every other week on him), a son on probation where police are always looking for him, there was a fight with another tenant that police where involved in etcÖ Is this any grounds for eviction? The police wonít give me a police report due to privacy laws.

Peter S., multi-family, NON owner occupied landlord, in NJ

A: I've been saying this for years: You can't evict for bad behavior. That's why I start with a 6 mos. leave, especially when I live in the building. What if you don't like them? You stuck with them until the lease is up. Then, you don't renew and evict as holdover.

Dear Mr. Reno:
My tenant just informed me that there is a bed bug problem in the apartment any suggestions on how to handle this problem.

Jim B.

A: I'm no expert on that, better off surfing the net (do people still say that?)

One thing I can say is, if its an apartment, everyone will blame everyone else & you can't prove where it started so the landlord (building owner) ends up responsible.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have a very old carpet in rental unit that was clean with no stains when tenants moved in per witness statement but now has 5-6 big dog urine stains in it plus damage to baseboard where dog pissed on corner. Can I deduct for replacement of carpet or only the removal, deodorizing and cleaning of it?

Mary K., WI

A: If you need to replace it, then you can deduct it. Your decision can be challenged in court. But usually, if you saw fit to buy a new one- the court will assume it was necessary.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have a car that is not running parked on property, can a landlord put a lien on it?

Jesse C

A: Not exactly. You can seize it, through the sheriff or constable, assuming you have a judgment against the owner. Who owns it? Is it a tenant? If it's just abandoned, the police will usually tow it after 30 days. If it's a tenant's it gets more complicated. Is it a lease violation? What's going on here?


Published 2015-06-25

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have a renters that will not pay utilities for the sewer in the town in which they live. They have signed a one year lease the states that they are responsible for all utilities.

I have talked to them on the phone, in person and sent a certified receipt requested letter that was never picked up at the Post Office and it was returned to me.

Just recently I sent a letter by regular mail stating that if all of the back payments were not made by a certain date that I will have to start eviction action.

My question is, so I have the legal right to do so even though they have for the most part paid their rent on time.


A: It's complicated. In my area, Long Island, New York, the eviction court will only evict for unpaid rent. But if you expressly state in the lease that utilities are "deemed added rent" the court can evict. But last year an eviction judge in my area said he wont evict just on paid utilities- no matter what the lease says. So it's controversial and I'm not even sure what the answer is right downtown let alone in your state.

LPA note: The LPA Lease is very good at making as many tenant responsibilities "added rent" as possible.

Dear Mr. Reno:
A good tenant allowed a relative to sleep on the couch for 3 nights...relative placed several boxes and bags in a spare room. Upon leaving he did not take the items with forward two weeks ...relative is claiming to live there because his belonging are there. When, I, the landlady requested him to remove the above mentioned items Local police were called.
The police sided with the tenant...they hoped I would cooperate by letting ,now, the relative, young gal & a baby enter with intent to stay until I filled an eviction notice! I stood my ground all the while remaining level headed and polite. Addressing the office nearest to me; " you may have to arrest me because these people will not be allowed back in this house" Cut to the end of story...I was not arrested, the free loaders removed their things while the police were there, end of [that] story.
Common sense ruled the day. What are the laws regarding tenancy of an overnight guest that refuses to leave?

Peggy JE Johnson, Landlady @ large

A: Unwelcomed guests can get the boot, even w/o an eviction. Problem is. they weren't your guests! They were the tenants and they have to kick'em out. You can't walk into your tenants' apartment and throw out his guests! So you were way out line, Peggy and lucky you didn't wind up in the pokey. But they left, so, I guess, all's well that ends well?

Dear Mr. Reno:
I am a landlord who owns a double in which I reside. I am extremely sensitive to household chemicals and products such as Glade Plug-ins, air fresheners, strong scented laundry detergent and fabric softeners (all which are harmful to the environment, and have harmful effects on the body, as they can be cancer-causing and disrupt hormones, not to mention wreaking havoc on the respiratory system). My former tenants have used some of those products and it is very bothersome to me, since I have to live in this house. I am now drawing up a new lease for potential renters. Is it legal for me to include a paragraph in my lease, prohibiting tenants from using those products?

Thank you for your time!

K. Kester

A: I guess the short answer is "yes". You can include such a paragraph. But can you enforce it? Not so much. Maybe the clause will have a positive effect as a deterant, but if you try to evict a tenant for a violation, it'll be an uphill battle for sure.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I gave a tenant a 3 day notice for not payment of rent and then filed the eviction. The tenant left property before the court date but left damages in excess of $2,500.00. Can I get a judgement for the damages during the eviction hearing or do I need to file small claims?
Thank You,


A: Small claimsville.


Published 2015-06-24

Dear Mr. Reno:
Please provide your opinion on the following addendum I wrote to allow my tenant to terminate the lease early. "Tenant agrees that a 60 day notice is required to terminate his/her tenancy. Tenant understands that they will remain liable for a maximum of three (3) monthsí rent after vacancy or until a new tenant is found to take their place. Landlord will mitigate his damages as prescribed by state law."

Michael Slattery, Oregon

A: In the event tenant seeks to terminate this lease prior to its expiration date, tenant will be liable to the landlord for loss of rent and other damages as provided by law. Notwithstanding the above, tenant's liability for lost rent will be limited to three months provided tenant gives 60 days advance notice of early termination. (I like mine better!)

Dear Mr. Reno:
Squatters Law for Eviction by Damage of Property
First, Thank you for answering the question that has been pertinently vital to alleviate distress to property and personal injury. Briefly, there are the formalities of scenario, which are as follows: I purchased the property back in 2007 with shareholders and they released their interest the preceding 2-3 three years later with no knowledge of the resolution. I was personally attending college and therefore any financial assessment e.g., taxes for property legal documentation etc. was assumed to be handled by the shareholders. Ideally, there should have been a contractual breach processed, although nevertheless, there is no record of the other members of board whereabouts. Complacently speaking, the City of Atlanta tax assessors and Code enforcement have been relentless in threat of taking the properties that were enlisted as condemned. I paid off the penalty only by percentile amount there is still a sizable amount that is in arrears. Focally, there was a significant retention to renovate the property and I was given a bridge window to accomplish the feet with diplomacy. To date the Constable of the County (Fulton) has not been helpful in allocating supportive measures. Conclusively inquiring, due to irrefutable damage both physically and surpententatively with malicious intent, what are the how to's to retain any judgement through legal action such as credit report filing, small claims excetera?

LaVerne C.

A: You don't have to find them, but if you want to enforce a judgment, you will have to sue them first & that will require at least an address. Credit Report comes later. Start your law suit.


Published 2015-06-23

Dear Mr. Reno:
Weíve been approached about renting half of our row house in Manhattan to a Ďcorporate rentalí company, small but apparently reputable at first glance.

The C of O for the building is two family & it is a market rate rental, so we would not run afoul of any regulations to the best of our knowledge. The company claims it pays NYC Hotel Taxes as it is required to do for stays of less than 180 days.

This outfit works thru HomeAway & other agencies to find short term rental tenants, usually for stays from 3 days to 3 weeks, with the shorter stays predominating.

No stay is ever booked anywhere near the 30 day mark which gives anyone ďtenant rightsĒ. They claim to take great care vetting tenants, but weíre used to doing that ourselves & know how hard it is to get right.

Weíre interested but not in love with the idea - what are the insurance & liability issues with the best of such middlemen, and what else should we be wary of?

The money is better but the churn & possible negative impact on our long term downstairs tenant are among our concerns. Thanks.

Mailer, NY

A: You have to ask, who are these people needing to rent a spot in NYC for a week or two. Probably businessmen, I would think, or vacationers? Am I off base? They don't sound like the riffraff type- probably good people. So I'm for it.

If you're worried about insurance & liability, advise your carrier. If they have an issue, they'll let you know.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I had a tenant call the police for some things and decided to get rid of him. I kept his rent checks and never cashed them and filed and eviction. He said he is going to subpoena the rents checks from me.
I didn't give him his security deposit and said I was keeping it for rent and cleaning.
What can he do to me? If I didn't cash the checks will I be in trouble?

David from Pa.

A: You may have some troubles there. As a general rule, if you hold on to rent checks, you can't say you weren't paid. The rent was tendered. You may as well deposit the checks now.

What is the basis for this eviction? You can't say it's non-payment if he's giving you rent checks! Did you give a 30 day notice? If so, you should have returned his check. Oh boy.


Published 2015-06-22

Dear Mr. Reno:
Good day,
I know Pickering v Chappe, 2010 NY Slip Op 20326 (29 Misc 3d 6) can be used to argue the collection of past due rent for an "illegal" apartment in Suffolk county NY, are there any cases that support the collection for damages to the apartment caused by the tenant? Example- scratched hardwood floors.


A: Probably not. As you may or may not know, the reported cases are all appellate division (appeals) cases or some Supreme Court (over $15,000) cases. The scratched floor cases would probably wind up in small claims court. There may have been a thousand cases, but probably none "reported" as you say.


Published 2015-06-19

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have won my case in an eviction process. Tenant did not even show up in court. How can I get my money that they owe me since I don't have their current address?
Please advice. Thank you.


A: Congrats on the case. But collecting is hard. I usually only have a shot if I know either their bank or their employer. Any info there?

Dear Mr. Reno:
My husband and I were advised by a deputy to evict our 19 year old daughter. She is disrupting the household in Which our two other minor children also live. My question is can we evict her without our landlord's involvement? We are on great terms with him and are a little embarresed of our situation. Also if we can evict her without his involvement, will it go on her permanent record? Thank you for your time

Dawn, FL

A: O.M.G. you couldn't even do this in my state (NY) b/c they'll send you to Family Court.
Also, if she's listed on the lease you can't evict her. If she's not on the lease, you may serve a 30 day notice, but the whole thing may still end up in family court.
What a mess. Your landlord can't help you. He would have to evict the whole family to get her out.


Published 2015-06-18

Dear Mr. Reno:
After evicting a person legally and allowing them to pick up their property in a timely manner, am I allowed to keep this person from returning to the property because he/she has caused trouble in the past. If so, do you know the Nevada law that covers this situation.

Thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Mike D., Lyn Capri Apts. in Las Vegas, Nevada

A: Once they have been legally evicted, you can call the police if they return and they should be removed as trespassers. But here's the catch: If the new tenant invites them, then they are guests of a lawful tenant- and you can't tell a tenant who to have over as a guest- even if it's someone you just evicted.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I am an independent, small Landlord in the state of NJ. My current Tenant, a single man, told me a few days ago that his girlfriend from Texas will be ďvisitingĒ him and when asked how long, he shrugged his shoulders and said maybe 2 weeks....a month...Ö obviously, itís a vague answer and my feeling is the plan is to move her in.

I have a guest policy of 7 days in a 12 month period. If the guest plans to stay longer, I want to add that rogue guest as a Tenant to insure they comply with property terms.

The questions are: HOW do I get a person to apply on an application once they are already on the premises and am I able to raise the rent at that time. I pay for the heat and hot water. The Tenant's Lease Term expires Sept. 30, 2015.
Thanks for your answer,

Marisa Santoro, TX

A: So when GF hangs out the rent goes up automatically? In a perfect world, maybe. In reality, not so much. Problems like this can be addressed two ways. A voluntary meeting of the minds (i.e. have a talk with him) or, if that doesn't work, hard ball. Hard ball means you lay down the law, but if he has a lease, your stuck with him & his GF until the lease is up. Then no renewal without a rent increase. Month to month? Serve a 30 day notice. That'll get his attention.

Are you ready to go to war over this? Is it worth it? That's your call Mari.

Dear Mr. Reno:
My father signed a disclaimer to inherit on a property that he had a life estate on. The house was vacant. I went to check on the home. It was occupied by him and 3 other people. He had broke in, forged my signature to have utilities cut on, and has tenants in the home that are paying him rent. Police say that I have to do an eviction. One lawyer told me an ejectment.
Which one do I do? I tried to get him for trespassing with no luck. Guess I have to go through the courts.

Rielle, Florida

A: I would try the eviction first because it's cheaper and faster. But there's a chance they'll bounce it and then you'll do an ejection after wasting time & money on the eviction, so pick your poison.


Published 2015-06-17

Dear Mr. Reno:
I recently had a tenant leave my property so damaged and dirty that it was not fit for the new tenants to move in, and it took 4 days to repair and clean the property so the new tenants could and would move in. Of course the new tenants donít want to pay for the 4 days they could not live there. Will I be allowed to charge lost rent for those 4 days back to the tenant that left the property damaged and dirty? Thank you.

NL, Denver, CO

A: Nope. Cost of clean up only. Sorry NL.


Published 2015-06-15

Dear Mr. Reno:
Iím in the process of evicting a tenant due to a drug use situation and for breaking some other lease rules. Due to the fact that I am evicting them, do I need to return their security deposit -- and even if they leave the apartment in good condition (which I have yet to see)? They are due out next week.
Thank you for your advice-

Dan, Pennsylvania

A: Yes- give it back. Unless there are damages or your lease specifically says you can keep it in those situations- and even then, it's risky.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I had a tenant leave today. He called on May 20th saying he was moving out but didnít know when. He wanted $400.00 the following Monday May 25th to pay for the movers even though he was still living there and he didnít know when the movers were coming. He has been living here for 9 days without paying his June 1st rent. He did finally move out on June 10th. He wanted his security deposit of $750.00 I told him no because he didnít give me 30 days notice. I offered him half the deposit back because he left the apartment in good condition. I think that was more than fair. He said no and that he was suing me for $1500.00 the original $750.00 plus for the 9 days he said we owe him for staying in the apartment. Please help.

NAP from Connecticut

A: You're right about the lack of notice, but I'm a little leery about advising you there because so many states have enacted strict laws on returning security and the landlords are getting their butts sued off.
As a general rule, security is only to cover damage to the property. Period. Some states require you to itemize the deductions in writing within 30 days. Better ask a local.

LPA note: Many landlords list "unpaid rent" as an item in the Security Settlement Statement.

Dear Mr. Reno:
This girl who was my brother's girlfriend is "living" with us for free. She was never invited to live with us and every time we asked her to leave she says we have to give 30 day notice even though she pays no bills, no rent, and she even does drugs while she's here. Is there any possible way we can get her out sooner.

Jessica in Reno, Nv

A: First step: Call the police. Tell them she's an unwelcomed guest and you want her out. Maybe they'll help, but it usually depends on how long she's been there. Rule of thumb: over 30 days, cops probably wont help. If cops wont help, them freeloaders is correct- probably need to give 30 days.

Dear Mr. Reno:
My husband owns a condo he began renting 8 years ago to a friend. There is no written lease. When first purchased in 2007, he agreed to allow her 2 years to get on her feet and buy from him at market value; nothing in writing. Last year, we gave her notice of intent to sell. She couldnít get financing. She has been making payments electronically to mortgage company, even after my husband asked her to send rent to him over a year ago. Weíve tried everything, even offering her money to leave and toward moving costs. She wonít leave and we need to evict. The problem? She is claiming joint ownership. My husbandís name is on the deed and all closing monies. She is claiming they had an arrangement for her to pay mortgage and she doesnít have to leave. She has no money for an attorney. Iím filing eviction papers today but want to knowÖdoes she have a claim? Is making electronic payments for ease grounds to claim he owes her Ĺ of any profit from sale, or refusing to move altogether? I thought the deed RULES.

Renee from Maryland

A: Yes, you definitely can evict. Definitely, probably... Anyway, you're doing the right thing- start with a simple eviction. If she wants to make hay of the agreement, then she has to go to another court and start a major law suit and pay thousands. Put the ball in her court- I doubt she has the stomach for it.


Published 2015-06-13

Dear Mr. Reno:
10/14/15 Tenant paid security deposit, and signed 1 yearís lease
Tenant moved 5 Ĺ months early.
Tenant left $150.00 water bill.
Tenant left no forwarding address.
6/1/15 Landlord (Marita) rented house again
Does tenant get security deposit back since he broke lease?
Do I, as landlord have to send him a letter pertaining to deposit?

Marita Howell, Ohio

A: Does your lease say you can apply security to water? Does it say security is forfeit if lease is broken? Otherwise, you're on thin ice Marita.


Published 2015-06-12

Dear Mr. Reno:
Renters on a month to month contract. We sent them an eviction notice of 45 days. (family member buying property) They responded and left within 5 days demanding return of deposit. Do we have to give it back to them?

Christy, Charlotte Hill, SC

A: I'm a little leery about advising you there because so many states have enacted strict laws on returning security and the landlords are getting their butts sued off. As a general rule, security is only to cover damage to the property. Period.

You asked them to leave- they left. Return their security (less provable damages) and count your blessings.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I live in and own my home with a mortgage cosigner, and in the home are also two other adults and two minors (all siblings). One of the adults is not paying anything to the house, but the other is. A verbal contract exists with the one who pays, but there is no written lease.

After a long period of trying to live amicably, I would like to eject the four lodgers, but the cosigner would not. This is after over a year of damage to the house by the four lodgers, including bed bugs, wall damage, water damage, damage to and unauthorized removal and disposal of my furniture, and more. The cosigner, while part of these problems, is not employed and is borrowing to pay her bills, and would likely follow them out when they leave.

I have others who can move in as soon as July 1.

What is the proper legal process to rid myself of the lodgers?

David F, Austin TX

A: When you say you have a "mortgage cosigner" I am assuming that she is a co-owner- and so your master plain will fail. The lodgers have her blessing, and she is a owner.

Your only remedy, sell the house. As an owner you have that right, although it may take court.

Dear Mr. Reno:
Three of my roommates and I have been living in an apartment in NYC for the past two years. We are trying to renew our lease but the people on the lease are changing. The person whose parents were the guarantors is leaving, leaving us without a guarantor. Upon asking my landlord if it were okay to redo the lease and change names around I was told that our lease is over if the guarantor leaves and that we will not be able to renew - essentially kicking us out. The four of us, who want to renew are making approximately 74 x the monthly rent per year. I am staying on the lease and we have never missed a payment or made a late payment. Is it legal for them to do this to us? And is there nothing we can do? They also want 1 guarantor making 70x the monthly rent and said they will not consider several guarantors. I just feel like they are trying to push us out to hike the rent for new tenants.
Thank you,


A: Is it subject to Rent Stabilization (rent control) of any kind? If the answer is yes, contact the Rent Stabilization Board. If the answer is no,... start packing.

Dear Mr. Reno:
i have a drug using tenant. 4 family private house no lease and the city of ny (hasa program) pays the rent (hiv client).

tenant has domestic fights almost weekly with lover. apartment is destroyed. 3 police arrests in one month ( march 2015)

want to evict but was told it could take 6 months since the rent is paid. tenant already treathened me with burning down the house if i evict and is going to bash in my head ( have no witness to these statements)

had it. was very patience but tenant will he not better himself - its getting worse.

any advice on how to speed up the legal process. i know he will not move on his own will?

Walter J., NY

A: What do you mean "speed it up"? It's NYC.- The worst place to evict on the planet. That's why I don't do NYC. You should call Rachel at (516) 714-9909.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I recently bought a property (a duplex) through online auction and later found the house is in really poor condition that needs a lot more than I thought to fix. The problem is, there are two tenants in the house (no lease). I now think to cut the cost and sell or even give up the property. What options do I have to ask the tenants to move out so I don't need to worry about any liability issue?>br> Thank you very much.

Ralph, Cincinnati, OH

A: So these poor people are sitting in their living room, minding their own business; then Ralph goes on line and the next thing they know- they're out on the street?
No, I'm kidding.. They get a 30 day notice. Case closed.


Published 2015-06-09

Dear Mr. Reno:
I gave my tenant a one month free stay but she did not accept , all she said was " That will not help, I am taking action" I need her out of my house and now she says that I said she could stay, I did say that BUT SHE DID NOT ACCEPT. Must she stay or can i kick her out?

Joyce, Free State

A: You are in a grey area. Yes, she did not accept your generous offer- but you did waive the rent for that month.
My suggestion: Start a non-payment eviction. The Court will sort it out and end it- one way or another.

Dear Mr. Reno:
We have a tenant that we gave a 3 day notice to in May.They owe us for May rent and now June's rent plus 2 months of electric. We have told them that their deposit is not the last month's rent.They have not moved yet. We were also told they they are having loud parties on the weekend a nd having a bon fire in the back yard which was reported to us by a neighbor. This is in Canon City , CO. I think the police were called and did nothing. We have left messages and they do not return our calls. They also have a dog that was not authorized. How do we get them out. Do know a good lawyer in Canon city that we can call. Do you have an eviction notice that we can use?

Judi Baker, CO

A: Forget the partners. Forget the fire. It's a straight forward non-payment eviction. Get down to the courthouse & pick up the forms. (Why are you still sitting there?)

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have a tenant who hasnít paid rent in three months. Gave them 10 day notice. They didnít move. Police came gave them court date which gave them extra 2 weeks. Went to court. He told judge his wife was in hospital. Judge gave him five more days. Still didnít move. Police came got him out. All his belongings are still in the home. Can I get rid of them?

Maureen H. Arkansas

A: The police "came got him out?" That's weird. I guess that's an Arkansas thing. If I were you, I'd ask them. They removed him. Now what do they want you to do with his stuff?


Published 2015-06-08

Dear Mr. Reno:
After two weeks of back and forth discussion, my tenant just signed a 2 year lease and gave me first monthís rent (cash, didnít want a receipt). She was supposed to give me the security deposit the next day but ultimately decided not to move in. We are having trouble finding a renter. Can we hold her responsible for rent and/or the lease?

Terri, NY

A: Yes. She signed. It's a contract. You can keep the rent, re-rent and then sue for any other lost rent.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I am attaching a document that I had my tenant sign at the beginning of their lease in 2012 (renewed their lease a couple of times). I purchased this home brand new. When I purchased I had a warranty on everything. I wanted to insure the maintenance was begin kept up along with a few other things, so I developed and they signed the attachment.

Recently, I had to end up filing a claim at this property (to the tune of $1540), due to a water leak in the A/C. After a LOT of people reviewing and frustration, it has been found that the pea trap was in fact clogged (hence the bi-monthly maintenance) not being done on the property by the tenant.

My concern is that because I had expected them to do this, I did not have an A/C company come out yearly and do maintenance (I have 4 properties all new houses in that area).

Do you feel this signed document is enough to present to them, and go against their deposit (of which the deposit won't cover all of it now), OR do you feel that this document will NOT be enough. In other words, they could say they WERE doing it, and I cannot PROVE they were not.

Just asking.
thanks so much for your time and consideration.

Tonya H., TX

A: It looks pretty thorough to me. The only thing I would add is something at the end such as " failure to comply with these requirements may render you liable for damages which will he deducted from your deposit." I didn't see this in there. Did I miss it?


Published 2015-06-07

Dear Mr. Reno:
Good morning,
Our rental property is in NC. We require 60 days notice of a tenant to terminate a lease agreement. Our tenant moved out on May 30th and texted us that evening that they moved out. I am asking them to pay us the full month of June, $1150, and past due rent of $1525, totaling $2675. They do not believe they owe the month of June. Can you advise if I should take legal action? Is it worth it to fight for this money?
Thank you for your assistance.

Victoria Ciresi, NC

A: You can try. It's a small claims case. You are technically correct, but I've seen small claims judges deny claims for rent in cases like this. You want them to pay June's rent. If they were there for half the month or even a week you would have a better chance. Here, the tenant wasn't even there one day in June.

Don't get me wrong- you are technically correct- they should owe for June, but sometimes these judges, especially small claims judges- because they know you won't appeal, well, they just do whatever the heck they want.


Published 2015-06-05

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have received a formal letter from the town of Huntington NY that they are demanding to inspect my house for an illegal accessory apartment and that i have 48 hours to respond or a warrant to search my house will be initiated. A process server whom I know well and is also a para legal told me ďItís not a warrant so do not respond to it.Ē Let them get a warrant!Ē ďLet them break the door down if need be,but donít let anybody in except the police!Ē And let them go before a judge and get a warrant!Ē Any body except the police doesnít have the authority to come in my house and the warrant had better be signed by a judge. Tell them to leave period. What else can I or should I do? This town of Huntington Long Islandís town counsel has recently declared war on home owners with illegal apartments and or accessory apartments. They have recently upped the ante to 1,500 hundred dollars for the first offense to 10,000 dollars for the second offense and so on. I would have gladly applied for an accessory apartment for my house long ago but the town counsel had changed the zoning codes to needing a road frontage of at least 75 feet for that up from 50 feet before. Unless there is a way around this Iím kind of stuck. I canít afford to carry my mortgage by myself and Iím afraid Iíll lose my house if the townís crusade against home owners prevails. I recently had some more bad news that I may be forced to give back some of my salary to the bus company that I work for due to the owner playing hard ball with the union. Iíve worked hard for the little that Iíve got in this world. I also have invested in silver just because of what Iíve been seeing my government has been doing so Iíll be better off than most people in my position. If silver goes zooming then Iíll be able to buy another house with twenty percent down. So I donít need sympathy or charity but I would like some clarity and sanity from my government instead of their heal of their jackboots on my neck. Iím a US Navy veteran and what Iím seeing my government do to this lame country is obscene. I find myself asking the question "Why did I serve?" "Was I stupid!" "Just to have this countryís government sell us out!" Warren Buffet is right " his rich friends are winning!" And the American people had better wake up and serve notice to the government with a massive march upon Washington against transgressions and usurpations by our government. So if Iím served with a warrant then what?

Robert, Long Island, NY

A: The process server is correct. You don't have to respond. Problem is, that's usually only a temporary solution. Your refusal to respond will probably initiate a summons that you will have to answer. So it's damned if you do, damned if you don't -(just a little bit later.)

Dear Mr. Reno:
I won an eviction judgement with no money judgement in Suffolk County district court. The tenant has filed a small claims court case for his security, even though he has lived in house for over 2 months with no payment. Can I counterclaim for rent and costs incurred for eviction in small claims court?

PW, Suffolk, NY

A: Only if your lease says you can, (like The LPA Lease). So, your credit card or your mortgage can get lawyers fees if you default, but only because when you sign for the credit card or mortgage it says it in there.

Dear Mr. Reno:
My husband and I seperated, he was responsible for rent. His income got the house. I had no income when we signed the lease. He skipped out on the payments, we were evicted. Am I responsible for this debt?

Zsauvett B., Tennessee

A: Yes-sir-re-Bob you are. You signed the lease. You picked the man. Two bad decisions. Sorry.

Dear Mr. Reno:
1) The stupid talent has moved out as per the LTB verdict but he has left some items like garbage, not clean the Condo and keys, cards and mail box key is also not returned. I have to provide to new owner how I should deal with him in this matter. I have sent email requesting but he is not responding to my emails these days ? He has not paid last month rent so far ?

2) I have one tenant and his lease is expired and we want to make new lease with new rent , sharing bills etc. but he is not co-operating for rent increasing and not ready to sign normal lease agreement pl. advice for this matter.

He has her 1 more guest for months who is not in the lease paper and he is ot paying any extra rent for the guest ?

Kindly advice for these matters. thanks.

Ismail Patel

A: As to #2, this guy needs a 30 day notice to vacate. That'll get his attention. Once he knows this will get him booted, he may be more cooperative. If not, then you'll have to make a decision.

As to #1, I really wasn't sure what your question was.

Dear Mr. Reno:
There is an Illegal people trespassing next to our commercial property in Houston Texas.
They are hot wiring illegal power connection from our property.
They are using the property illegally and doing toilet activities and other Unhygenic activities. Health hazard to us .
Any suggestions or actions.

Yusuf M., TX

A: (Whole world's gone insane!)
Step One: Call police.
If they wont help, then the trespassers have acquired squatters rights and you'll need a local attorney to evict them.
Good luck.


Published 2015-06-03

Dear Mr. Reno:
My tenant is leaving tomorrow and I fear she will leave the place a mess and some of her stuff behind. I'm also afraid she will abandon her cat also.
Do I have any options? Thank you.

Lorraine Randazzo in New York

A: There are times you can "pre-empt" bad behavior- but not in this case. Start pricing dumpsters and searching pet rescue services.
Good luck!

Dear Mr. Reno:
When do you know a tenant has abandoned your rental unit?
You have a lease.
It is the sixth of the month no rent.
Tenant does not return text or phone calls.
Grass is uncut, a foot and a half tall.
Curtains are all closed tight.
Utilities still in tenants name.
No mail in mail box and you sent a statement of rent due three days ago.
These were what I observed on a resent property. †Front storm door was locked.†
Someone stuck broken wires in locks. When we entered house was totally empty.
† My question is when do you know if a rental unit is abandoned?†
Thanks, you are very helpful.

Rick D., Marion Iowa

A: Thanx for the details- but I'm unclear on the most important one: What was in there? You say it was empty. So I'm assuming you mean all their stuff was gone? If their clothes and TV's are out- then they're out

Dear Mr. Reno:
My wife and I have let my brother stay with us... now we are going thru a divorce and she has left the home a couple days ago she is now trying to evict my brother we live in this possible even if I want my brother to stay? wife and I are both on the lease for the house we rent. Thanks,

John from Michigan

A: Fear not. She can't evict him.. He's your guest. (It's refreshing to be able to give someone good news for a change.)


Published 2015-06-01

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have month to month tenants (Nassau County) who have not paid in 4 months. Am I required to give them 30 days notice or is the requirement less for month to month? Does notice need to be hand delivered?


A: Thanks to our successful Tricarichi Appeal, (somewhere on this website), you no longer need to give a 30 day notice in a non-payment month to month situation. You can go directly to a non-payment eviction over on 99 Main Street.

"Recent Courtroom Victories"

Dear Mr. Reno:
If I have a tenant that has no security and has left the apartment in need of repair, what if any is my recourse for retrieving the costs for the damages from HUD?

Javier D.

A: Your chances are quite good. Reach out. (The worse they can do is say no.)

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Legal Disclaimer
The Landlord Protection Agency's "Ask the Attorney" column is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The questions answered by Mr. Reno on this site do not constitute an attorney - client relationship and are not to be considered legal advice. Not all questions will be answered and some may appear in the LPA Q&A Forum.
The Landlord Protection Agency recommends that you seek legal advice before using any of the material offered on this web site, and makes no guarantee on the effectiveness, compliance with local laws or success of any of the material offered on this web site. The Landlord Protection Agency is not engaged in rendering legal advice.

If you are a Landlord on Long Island, NY, and wish for Mr. Reno to handle your landlord - tenant case, please provide your contact information: e-mail Mr. Reno

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