QUESTION: Dear Legal Wiz,
I am 86 and living in the USA. The agent rented out my house for less than I told her on November 8th last year. The tenants are very abusive to me when I go to Jamaica and I need them out. The lawyer told me to give them a notice for them to leave the 31st of March, but when I took the notice form to the Court, they told me the notice has to expire on the 7th of any month I need them out.
The lawyer insists I tell the court clerks that I need the house for my occupation so that I can get them out quick with the notice. How can I bypass the ladies at the window and get to the Judge because I dont live in Jamaica.
RESPONSE: Dear Clara,
You cannot bypass the court clerks who are responsible for processing your claim. No comment will be made on what you claim the attorney in Jamaica told you, as it is believed you misunderstood what was said to you. It is very far fetched for any attorney who has studied law to have directed you in that manner.
First of all, there are Acts which govern issues to do with property such as yours which gives a clear outline on how a notice is to be done up, and the elements of such notice. Some of the more critical points about notices is printed on the reverse side of the notice forms you purchased in the bookstore. It clearly outlines guidelines in how to date your notice for example. You must give a full rent month’s notice. So therefore if you were to date and give the notice after the 8th of the current month, the notice has to expire on the 7th day of the month after the following month. For example if you draft the notice and serve it on the 9th of February, the notice would have to expire on the 7th of April, to allow for a clear ‘rent’ month’s notice.
The only time your notice can be written to expire on the 31st of the month is if your tenant pays you rent on the 1st of the month.
One of the grounds for giving a notice is “landlord’s personal use and occupation” as outlined on the reverse side of the notice. In your case, it is also recommended that you add “breach of quiet enjoyment by tenant”, so you should really discuss this with an attorney you can be confident with after you make sure he/she has a proven record of success in these matters.