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Main | Licencing for DC Landlords »
Friday
Nov022018

What if the Tenant Doesn’t Pay the Protective Order?

When you file a nonpayment case the tenant can demand a trial. That could be a jury trial or a bench trial. Either way the time it takes to have your case heard could stretch out several months. A protective order requires the tenant to pay the rent into the court registry until the trial. Tenants often request that the protective order be less than the monthly rent. If they do a Bell hearing will be held. I’ve talked previously about how to handle Bell hearings. But once you the landlord gets a protective order requiring the tenant to pay the rent into court registry, they need to watch the court docket to make sure the tenant is actually making the payments. If the tenant doesn’t make the payments the landlord can file a motion to enforce the protective order. If the payments aren’t made the court can sanction the tenant by striking the jury demand or moving up the court date. While landlords won’t win every motion for sanctions it is always worth filing. Making sure the tenant is making those payments means the rent will be in the registry when the case ends and the landlord won’t lose several additional months of rent if the tenant moves out and doesn’t pay. So keep an eye on the protective order! Getting it is just the first step. 

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