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Rental agreement issues

We rented our townhouse to a single woman whom we think may not be credible.  We are new at being landlords and have not toughened up to protect ourselves in the landlord/tenant transactions.  Our tenant signed a rental contract with rental amount, security deposit indicated as well other obligations that must be fulfilled.  Mistakenly, we allowed her to move in 1 week in advance at no additional cost. (Mistake, but we were taken in by her sad story).  Rent and Security deposit was due on May 1st.  Rent wasn't paid until the 14th (after several contacts were made).  She stated she would have the next months rent on the 25th of May and pay the deposit on the 1st of June.  We had to go to her on the 1st to transport her to get the money to pay the rent but she didn't have the money for the deposit.   Get the picture?  On top of this, the agreement states she has to put the utilities in her name which she has not.  Can we start eviction procedures based on her breach of agreement even though her rent is not behind?  We believe we can at least take the utilities out of our name.

Common first time mistake it is very easy to let your emotions get involved but you have to remember this is your business not a charity.  I would give her written notice that in 5 days the utilities will be shut off if not transferred and then just wait till the next time she is late to evict, I'm sure it won't be long.  I know i found myself in similar situations in the beginning.    
Rule #1 - No $$$$, No keys, No Exception. Period!  ..The eviction process may begin if one of the five major reasons for evictions is met. These include: - Failure to pay rent - If the tenant violates the rental agreement (the agreement may be verbal or written)....This may help -----Disclaimer: Since I’ve been answering a lot of questions, I thought I would make the following statement. I’m not affiliated with EZlandlord Forms. I’m just here (not sure how long) to help those that have questions. Having 40+ yrs with Rental Property and done well, it’s my way of “Pay it Forward (check out the movie).” However, it is up to you to become familiar with your State/Local laws. I always like to know if the suggestions I offer are helpful. Feel free to comment anytime. Thanks in Advance
Yikes! As a new landlord, this is a fear of mine as well. I'm sorry that you are going through this. Fortunately, I have relatives that have managed properties for many years& I have to agree with the post from Bob (above).  I can' tell you how much my relatives have badgered me about screening tenants and not allowing tenants to move into the rental until they have paid the required fees to move in. I'm not sure if you are pre-screening your tenants at this point. If you are not, then I highly recommend that you do. There are a variety of screening services that you can use. I use a service called E-Renter (, but you might want to shop around and see what appeals to what you need in a screening service. I hope that your current situation works out in the end.
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