Why Does a Squatter Have So Many RIGHTS?

By
Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Okay, this is a vent...

I have a rental house in Alabama. The tenant hasn't paid her rent since August (she moved in the first of June). On top of unpaid rent, she owes me about $700 for the utilities she didn't put in her name and part of the deposit. So, at this point, she's in the hole to me for several thousand dollars.

Yes, the eviction papers have been filed - several weeks, maybe even over a month ago. But there she still lives, with her $60,000 Hummer sitting out in front. Rumor has it she has 7 dogs living on the property (she's "authorized" for two). But apparently, according to my lawyer, she can stay until the sheriff gets around to physically moving her, her Hummer and her seven dogs out.

HOW IS THIS FAIR???? Why does someone who has broken a contract, who is putting my property at risk, have the right to live there after she stops paying to live there????? Why does she have more rights than I do???

Someone explain to me how this makes sense. I just don't get it.

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Comments 44 New Comment

Rainmaker
211,275
Mary Strang
Real Estate

Jennifer, I think I saw that movie once but that rental house was in San Francisco... very scary for you. I think the laws were made back when tenants were the victims now they certainly are not... guess onces she is out, you might just not want to rent that anymore and might choose to sell it. Worse is to be in the business and get sucked in by a bad person. Best of luck on this for 2009!!!!

December 31, 2008 08:13 AM
Rainmaker
428,374
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Author of Sell with Soul
Sell with Soul

I finally got into the house and it was in surprisingly good condition. Filthy, but no damage - not stinky - didn't even need paint! The house went on the market on Monday, so we'll see what happens!

December 31, 2008 08:17 AM
Rainmaker
250,466
Joel Weihe
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits
Realty World Alliance

Whew, what a story!  We've looked at getting some rentals with the high rental demand right now, but I will definitely be checking the tenant/landlord laws here very very thoroughly!

January 16, 2009 08:44 PM
Anonymous #43
Anonymous
Lisa B.

Wow ~ and the story continues, just with another sucker Landlord (ME!) and a squatter that knows the system in AL is now in her 2nd month of "free" rent while My hubby works 2 jobs to cover the extra expenses of the rental.  I am appalled at the system in Alabama!  I finally filed for her eviction last Wednesday in court, after giving her her notice, then waiting while she "played us" for a month .. I will have the $/No not yet/yada, yada.  The civil court she would not get served until the first of this week sometime.  Called Monday - NO, and today - NO.... A week since I filed and she HAS NOT EVEN BEEN SERVED by our friendly Sheriff!  I am SO naive, as I thought they were here to help the good guys!  Once she does get served, she still has 7 days to do whatever, and per the court, if she doesn't leave, she can request a court hearing and they only hold eviction hearings once a month, so the date on that would depend on when she answers.  If she does neither, then it's back on my shoulders to go back to the court, pay MORE $, and then they will give her ANOTHER 14 days to do whatever.  Of course, if she wants to go to trial/hearing, she can wait til the 14th day (after her initial 7, and I refile and the courts send it to our ever so friendly and helpful sheriff and it takes him however long) and then we would have to wait til the trial... HELP, HELP, HELP!  It's not even like she would be out on the street.  She's a grown woman, her mother lives less than 1 mile away, and her aunt is nearby (why she wanted to rent our place - to be near family!).  We offered to put her on a payment plan, release her from her lease - just leave, etc.  I'm with totally FRUSTRATED and am glad to find this blog (even though its older) just to vent and know I'm not in this completely alone!   

May 06, 2010 01:09 AM
Rainmaker
428,374
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Author of Sell with Soul
Sell with Soul

Lisa - I'm SO sorry and I know what you're going thru. I couldn't believe how lenient the "system" was on this horrible woman who took advantage of me. I have a judgment against her for $5900, but was told by a local collector that she has over $90,000 in judgments against her already, so good luck collecting.

Speaking of the system in Alabama... I am suing another renter in small claims court and the local sheriff couldn't find the house to serve them, so he just sent the notice back. I had to re-file three times and send him a detailed map to the house (it's NOT hard to find!) in order to get the process even started.

May 06, 2010 03:33 PM
Rainmaker
428,374

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
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