Articles — forcible detainer

Only a Fool Learns from His Own Mistakes

Posted by Stephen Marshall on

I was in court in central Kentucky this week for a pretty complicated eviction case. There were eight witnesses on my side alone. The judge announced afterward that it was the longest eviction docket in his many years on the bench. After a two-hour hearing, my client had prevailed. However, one of the things that struck me about that day was that I watched three other landlords with much, much, much simpler cases have their evictions dismissed. Each of those cases involved non-payment of rent and, in each case, the dismissal was the result of the landlord failing to give...

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A Supreme Letdown: the Latest Supreme Court Opinion on Evictions

Posted by Stephen Marshall on

A Supreme Letdown: the Latest Supreme Court Opinion on Evictions

One week ago, I got really excited while checking Twitter. Actually, that happens every day. For those of you who don’t use Twitter, I highly recommend it if you’re into breaking news. Twitter is where you read about it first. Sorry for the digression. Anyway, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed last Thursday and saw that the Kentucky Supreme Court had issued an opinion in a landlord-tenant case. And not just in a landlord-tenant case, but in a forcible detainer case. I had found a unicorn! Very rarely do the appellate courts publish opinions on residential landlord-tenant cases, and...

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Why Landlords Should Embrace the URLTA

Posted by Stephen Marshall on

“All the laws favor the tenants” is a phrase I hear often in the rental industry. As a Kentucky attorney who only represents landlords, I spend close to 150 days a year in court advocating for landlords, and many hours consulting and giving advice to landlords on how to structure their leases and applications, and how to deal with their tenants. While my practice is located near two jurisdictions that have adopted the URLTA (Lexington and Georgetown), I do plenty of work in surrounding counties that have not. As a result, I have had to develop expertise in landlord-tenant relationships...

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Lessons from Eviction Court: Don't Make Oral Agreements with Tenants

Posted by Stephen Marshall on

Lessons from Eviction Court: Don't Make Oral Agreements with Tenants

Today’s Lesson from Eviction Court demonstrates the old adage that “no good deed goes unpunished”. For most landlords, any time a tenant becomes past due on the rental payment, a notice is sent advising the tenant that if the payment is not made within a certain number of days, depending on the applicable lease and law, the tenancy will be terminated. In some cases, the tenant pays the rent and the problem is solved. In other cases, the tenant moves out and the problem is partly solved. In still other cases, the tenant fails to pay and the landlord files...

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Lessons from Eviction Court: Multiple Notices Can Ruin Your Eviction

Posted by Stephen Marshall on

Lessons from Eviction Court: Multiple Notices Can Ruin Your Eviction

Automation is a great feature of technology. We don’t have to write checks to pay our bills each month, we can just set them up to have the amounts deducted from our bank accounts. It simplifies life for us. Except when it doesn’t. Many landlords now use software that automates many of their daily and monthly tasks. I’m all for this, as we need to make technology work for us whenever possible. But it can create new obstacles. Your software that generates notices each month when a tenant hasn’t paid the rent can kill your eviction. Here’s how it usually...

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