HOW TO MINIMIZE YOUR ERRORS AND EXPEDITE YOUR CASE
When you need to do an eviction it is important that you use the correct forms for your state and it is good to have an attorney on retainer or be prepared to go to court yourself.
In the Denver property management business our attorney at Performance Property Management has told us that they have noticed a marked increase in errors and defects in the eviction demand notices that received in their office. Whether it is a minor typo or a serious defect, mistakes on eviction notices can cause big problems with your eviction that will turn a simple procedure into one of the horror stories you hear about in the real estate industry. You can save both time and money by ensuing your documents are processed property and problem free.
The most common form of eviction is a demand for Payment or Possession. Make sure you have the property form for your state and fill it our completely. In Denver, Colorado where Performance Property Management Company is located the real estate the law requires that the written Demand for Payment shall include the correct address of the property, must specify the grounds of the tenant’s right to the possession of the premises, and the time when the same shall be delivered up if default is not cured, and shall be signed by the person claiming such possession (or his agent or attorney).
Most Demand for Payment forms have “easy-to-fill-in” blanks, and each blank should be completely, accurately, and legibly filled in. If you are using a different form, we strongly recommend that you still review the form used by attorneys in your state to ensure that all the information is included in yours. Some of the things you can do to ensure that your Demand is processed quickly and accurately are as follows:
2) make sure your handwriting is legible. Illegible handwriting can cause address errors on the Summons and
Complaint and Writ of Restitution, and/or delays in filing your case.
Further, make sure the address on the Demand Notice is accurate – don’t make any assumptions that the courts will know the county, state or zip codes etc. Don’t wait until the process server or sheriff notifies you down the road, which can cost Landlords both time and money;
3) Make sure the amount you claim in the Demand is actually owed by the tenant (don’t rely solely on accounting
software, and personally review the amounts on the demand to be sure you can prove them in court, if necessary);
4) If the Demand is for something other than rent (such as unauthorized pet or a noise complaint), be sure to
specify the specific lease violation or substantial violation, and state exactly what the tenant(s) must do to bring
themselves into compliance under the terms of the lease (if compliance is an option);
5) Read and understand your lease. If the lease requires more time than a 3-day notice period, give the applicable
notice period to the tenant on the demand notice. The Colorado property management law provides for a 3-day notice period in most cases.
However, some leases (particularly commercial leases or Leases from other states or obtained from the Internet)
require more time. Follow your Lease. Also, in Colorado the property management law requires that Demands must be “personally served to the tenant or other person occupying such premises, or by leaving such copy with some person, a member of the tenant’s family above the age of fifteen years, residing on or in charge of the premises. In case no one is on the premises at the time service is attempted, by “posting such copy in some conspicuous place on the premises.” We recommend that when posting a Notice, use at least two pieces of tape, and secure the Demand to the front door of the property, face-out, so the tenant can clearly see it. If you have a camera on your phone, take a photo of the posted Demand on the door so the tenant can’t say they didn’t receive it later. If your lease requires you to mail or provide some additional service of the demand as well, make sure you comply with that lease provision;
6) Put the correct county the property is located in on the demand;
7) Put your name, or the name of the legal owner of the property/Plaintiff, on the demand so the tenant(s) know
who is making the demand;
8) Sign and date the demand;
9) Serve the demand properly and sign and date the certificate of service;
10) Be sure the demand is less than 30 days old – If the demand is over 30 days old, some courts (Denver, Colorado for example) may reject the demand and refuse to enter possession judgment, and require you to serve a new Demand notice;
11) If you are serving a Notice to Vacate, be sure that you are providing the tenant with the proper notice period
under the lease. If your lease is silent on the issue of notice, then you must follow the applicable law or your state. If
you have questions, call an attorney and make sure you get it right;
12) For Section 8 and HUD leases, be sure you are complying with the additional requirements that these leases
and contracts contain. Make sure you are using the approved forms to avoid mistakes;
13) Call your attorney before you serve the Demand if you have any questions or are unsure about any aspects of the
Demand itself, or how to serve it properly;
14) And finally, please note that transmission errors can occur on occasion. If you e-mail, fax or mail in your
Demand notice to your attorney, make sure you get a confirmation of receipt.
Property management can be a very rewarding business requiring both organization skills and people skills. It takes a good communicator to show compassion to a tenant while going through the eviction process and keep a level head while dealing with all the emotions that go along with the process. This is another article.