I have a commercial (business, not residential) renter who is behind in rent, and I would like to do a lockout.
I rented my auto repair shop out in Feb 2007 the lease was for 6 months, we did not renew the lease in writing, so I assume it was a month-to-month basis for the last 6 month period. However, during the non-written 6 month period beginning September 2007, he is behind in rent over 5 months for a total of $16,800.
I requested he acknowledge and sign a statement today that he has to vacate before March 1st if he does not pay back rent plus March rent, but He said to me today "oh you can't, I have renters rights, can't lock me out!"
Can I simply lock the gate at Midnight February 29th, or must I file some court paperwork and give him a written notice? I thought only "residential tenants" were eligible for a 5 day written notice. This isn't residential, it is commercial, with no written lease, the auto-extension expired, and he's over 5 months behind in rent.
The only statement in the last written lease stated:
"# 6 Fixtures and personal property (contract which has run out)
Lessee shall supply and install all trade fixtures, movable equipment, supplies, inventory, merchandise and other personal property used in or on the premises. Such trade fixtures, vehicle hoists, movable equipment, supplies, inventory, merchandise and other personal property shall at all times be and remain the property of Lessee, which shall have the right to remove the same from the premises at any time during the term of this lease."
What can I do?
Last edited by Coyotemotors; 02-29-2008 at 11:41 PM.
Reason: fixed typo
What does your lease state as your remedy for late/unpaid rent?
The lease (expired one, that's month to month now?) says:
"Section 13. Default
This lease is made upon the understanding that the Parties hereto will punctually and faithfully preform all of the agreements to be performed herein. If either party defaults in the observance or performance of the covenants, agreements or conditions of this Lease on its part to be kept and preformed, and such default shall continue for a period of ten (10) days in the case of payment of money and thirty (30) days in all other cases after the receipt of written notice of default by the other party then and in any such event, the non-defaulting Party, at its option, may declare the terms of this Lease ended without prejudice to any other legal or equitable remedy the aggrieved part may have on account of such default."
Feb 1st I gave him a photocopy of his bill where it says "owed as of 2-1-08 $16,800.00"
So, is that bill of amount past due equate to his written notice that can satisfies the 10 days? Or does that lease wording mean he has to be notified in writing that he is behind that much in rent AND that "he has 10 days to pay or leave?"
PS: What about the legal "Eviction Notice" that the local authorities paste on the door, with "removing this notice is an offence punishable by..." statements? Is that not required for Commercial rental properties?
Last edited by Coyotemotors; 03-01-2008 at 12:39 AM.
Reason: Added A Question at End.
Well it's Monday morning 10 days after my renter signed my invoice saying he owes
me so much for past due and due rent and that in 10 days all contracts between the two parties will be nil and void****************************..... he is at the gate and is calling the Sheriff cause
I locked him out!
What do I do now?
Call his bluff or open the gate?
He says I need to file a legal eviction notice blabla bla !
Do I just wait for Sheriff and show him what I have and let him make a decision?
Have you searched your state's laws to see if there are any laws that govern commercial leases? Although most states do not have any laws that govern this type of tenancy. As ecmst12 said, the lease itself is what determines what you or the tenant can or can't do. I do not have commercial rentals, but most commercial leases have a lock out clause. It is common that commercial tenants are locked out and possessions are seized for payment of back rents owed. Happens around here all the time. Tenant comes in Monday morning only to find the place padlocked or the locks changed. In OH, the tenant has little recourse for this since we have no law to govern commerical rentals. Does your lease have such a clause? Perhaps you should consult a commerical real estate attorney to see how you can get the money they owe you.
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