Frozen Out in Tenant Eviction

Actor Jack Whitehall had a small part in the movie, Frozen, just one line, but he was so excited to be in a big Disney production.  Then when the movie came out, his line was cut.  His animated character appeared on screen, the lips moved through the words Whitehall had recorded, but the character had no voice.  The same thing can happen to property managers who try to represent their corporation in court in a contested tenant eviction. Showing up to court is good, but being able to voice your side of the case is better.  A property manager may show up to represent an owner, but unless he is the owner’s attorney, he does not have a legal say in a contested tenant eviction (and his cause may not get very far); the Judge gets to hear a one-sided argument…from the tenant. The property management company can file tenant eviction paperwork as long as the eviction is uncontested and for possession only (not money).  However, if the tenant raises a legal defense, then the property manager has to let it go, and either the property owner has to represent himself or herself in court, or be represented by an […] Read More

Speechless in Eviction

There are certain things you should not say in court…and sometimes you are not allowed to speak at all.  More than a matter of courtroom decorum, if you are a non-attorney property manager representing a corporation, you do not have subject matter jurisdiction in a contested tenant eviction.  Thus you could be left speechless in eviction. “Your Honor, the landlord’s representative is to an attorney and is trying to represent a corporation.  He does not get to talk.” A property manager may show up to represent an owner, but unless he is the owner’s attorney, he does not have a legal say in what goes on (in which case his cause may not get very far). The property management company can file tenant eviction paperwork as long as the eviction is uncontested and for possession only (not money).  However, if the tenant raises a legal defense, then either the property owner has to represent himself or herself in court, or be represented by legal counsel.   Read More

Property Managers & Contested Eviction

Accidents happen and sometimes you become a landlord when you did not mean to.  Some accidental landlords deal with their new position by hiring a management company.  That is fine.  Let the management company handle the repairs, collect the rent, deal with the details of keeping the property rented.  The property management company can file tenant eviction paperwork as long as the eviction is uncontested and for possession only. Property managers and contested evictions do not mix effectively.  A property manager may show up to represent an owner, but unless he is the owner’s attorney, he does not have a legal say in what goes on (in which case his cause may not get very far). Tenant eviction is a summary process, meaning it takes a shorter time than a normal lawsuit; however, if the tenant raises a legal defense, then either the property owner has to represent himself or herself in court, or be represented by legal counsel.     Read More