Texas Small Claims Litigation
Connie from Dallas became a member of the Collect Back Rent team in January. Connie was a retired teacher who is the landlord of 9 rental properties. She had a tenant move out of her rental due to two months rent and $2,000 in damages. Connie had listened to stories of bad luck and he moved out without warning.
Connie had received $1,000 for a security deposit, so her first step is to send a detailed statement of where the security deposit was dispersed. The security deposit ($1,000), an itemized statement she sent the tenant, deducted $1,000 from the damage, which left a balance of $1,000 in damage. Included in the security deposit letter was a Demand Notice for $3,000 (rent and remaining damages). Connie sent the detailed statement and search notice by registered mail with return receipt requested.
After 30 days, the former tenant failed to respond, so Connie filed a small claims lawsuit for $3,000 ($2,000 rent, $1,000 damages plus legal costs). I suggested that Connie use a licensed process server to serve court documents. During this time, the defendant employed Atty. Small claims documents must be served on the defendant and the defendant’s attorney
Note: Connie has never been in a courtroom, let alone in front of a judge. I had several mentoring calls to prepare her for the court hearing, Connie had a “Moving Checklist” that shows the judge what the rental looked like when the defendant moved in. She received a state-approved lease, security deposit letter, notice of claim, proof of service, photos and receipts for the damages to be submitted. My suggestion was to show one maybe two photos of each of the damages, a receipt for the purchase of the carpet she replaced. Another tip is to bring a witness to the court hearing when you are suing for damages. This could be a property manager, handyman or business partner.
Court Day: She presented her case perfectly to the judge and the defendant’s lawyer. The defendant’s attorney came up with a settlement of $2,700 on top of the alleged $3,000 – Connie jumped at that. She couldn’t believe it.
She has already been paid and has accumulated a mountain of knowledge with confidence. She walked into the courtroom and beat up a lawyer! A success story of a landlord who sought training and developed the ancient profession of a landlord!
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