Monday, August 25, 2014

Sometimes the law does prevail

Most eviction judges don't follow the letter of the law [saying it is "too harsh for these facts"], they will find a way to let the tenant make up any missed rent payments if possible.

I've watched a judge render a habitability judgment [assigning a discounted rental rate when the apartment needs repairs and the landlord hasn't made them timely, and giving the tenant five days to pay the reduced rent], and the ONLY trial evidence that even remotely resembled a habitability issue was a thumbprint seen on an interior doorjamb.  The judge didn't reduce the rent by even one dollar, he just gave the tenant five days to get caught up.

I once evicted a tenant who hadn't paid her $5 per month rent.  She was a Section 8 Housing tenant, which meant most of her rent was paid by the government.  Her portion was $5 per month.  And one month, she didn't pay.

I honestly didn't believe the judge would evict her over a $5 missed payment, even though my case was airtight and the tenant presented no defenses.  But I was wrong.

Judge:  "My tax dollars pay 99% of your rent, and you can't come up with a measly $5?"

Sometimes the law does prevail.

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