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tenant never signed the lease
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OH landlord

Joined: Wed Sep 12th, 2007
Posts: 506
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Thu Feb 21st, 2008 04:53 pm
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Your first mistake was to give him a signed copy of the lease.  Never send it to a tenant signed.  Send it for their signature and have them return it for yours.  He can always pull out the lease and sign it now to "prove" he had a signed lease.  You can evict him for unpaid rent, whether with or without a lease.  You will have to look up your state law to find the appropriate notice to send him (it will probably be a pay or quit notice or a quit notice).  You should contact an attorney in NH to do this eviction for you since you live in FL now.  Call around and find an EVICTION attorney (not a real estate lawyer).  You want one that only does evictions and who will do them for a flat fee if you can.  You may want to call a local LL association in the rental's town and ask them who they use for a referral.  The attorney could handle the whole process for you so you wouldn't have to make a trip back to NH until it is vacant.  Start by calling an attorney and compiling a list of all the monies they owe you. 

You cannot shut off any utilities, that is illegal.  The tenant could sue you if your do that.  You should have ensured that he would place the elctric in his name by ordering it off 5 days after he got the keys.  (You can call the electric company at the beginning of the tenancy and just give them a shut off date.)  If he didn't put it into his name by then, he would have no electric.  Simple.  This way he has to put it into his name.  (This works most of the time, except in winter, when you actually have to call and verify from the electric company that it has been transferred to the tenant's name.)

Good luck.


Joined: Thu Feb 21st, 2008
Posts: 1
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Thu Feb 21st, 2008 12:16 pm
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Here is my rather large problem. I own a house in NH. I rented to a tenent as I was moving to FL. He and his daughter appeared to be great. The first two months the rent was on time. we started in Sept. I gave him a signed lease by me. He was to sign it and send it to me. He has not. He also was supposed to put the electric bill in his name. He has not. I received a bill for over $800. He said he will pay me for it. In Nov he gave me 300 towards it. He paid NOv rent late, Dec rent late. He has not paid Jan or Feb. I also recieved a new electric bill for another 300. I sent anther lease that he refuses to sign. He said he lost the other one I gave him. What can I do? The electric bill is over 1000 he owes 2 months rent and wont sign a lease. Can I shut off the electric? My pipes would then freeze. I also agrred to keep the trash pick up in my name. He hasnt paid me for that either. Can I stop it? Can I evect without a lease? I cant afford to pay someone elses bills and pay to have them live in my home. He has a 16 yr old daughter.  HELP!

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