eviction for non-payment

Eviction process for non-payment of rent in Dominican Republic

  • By:Vianela Morillo
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Today we will be talking about eviction for non-payment in Dominican Republic, given that we get a high volume of inquires regarding this topic from property owners who have tenants with months (or even years) of delinquency; despite the fact that they have done everything possible to recover their property through dialogue, but the tenants have failed to comply.

Tenants commonly express reasons related to their finances, such as having no money, which is understandable, but at the same time, they do not do what should be done in these cases, which would be to vacate the property.

Many homeowners chose not to pursue legal action in these cases, due to the cost of lawyer fees, as well as the length of time such litigation can last.

In this article, we are going to answer some of the questions we have received from clients through our social networks.

Which court has jurisdiction to hear eviction claims for non-payment?

In the Dominican Republic, eviction lawsuits are known before the competent Magistrate’s Court; the specific court will be selected based on the location of the property. This jurisdiction is valid as long as there is no dispute over the lease agreement.

What if the tenant wants to pay what they owe me after the lawsuit has started?

If after the claim has been set in motion, the tenant wants to make the payment but the landlord refuses to receive it, because they want to evict the tenant, the Law has established that the tenant can follow the process of Real Offers of Payment followed in consignment, or deposit said rental payments in the Agricultural Bank, in favor of the owner who refuses or is unable to receive them. Now it is important to note that the first step for the landlord in an eviction claim for non-payment is to obtain a Certification from the Agricultural Bank, specifying if the tenant has deposited the funds owed to the landlord at that bank.

What documents do I need in order to sue for eviction in relation to non-payment?

The claim, drawn up by the attorney in charge of the case, the following documentation needs to be provided as well: Certification of rent deposit, certification of non-payment of rent and the lease agreement. Additionally, it must include proof of ownership documents, e.g. the property title, if applicable, the cadastre statement receipt, certification of the legal status of the property, luxury housing tax payment receipt, among others.

Is it possible for the tenant to be released from the non-payment suit started against them?

According to Decree 4807, the payment of overdue rent installments can be made through the consignment made in the Agricultural Bank by the tenant.

Once said deposit has been made, at the Agricultural Bank of the Dominican Republic, the tenant would need to notify the owner.

Moreover, according to articles 12 and 13 of Decree 4807 from 1959, the tenant facing eviction for non-payment may be released if they pay the total rent and expenses owed to the owner, in the hearing in which the claim is heard.

What does it mean to deposit before the Agricultural Bank? What exactly is it that needs to be deposited?

The owner of the property must store the “deposits” made by the tenant in the Agricultural Bank of the Dominican Republic, when signing the rental agreement. Said funds are deposited along with the original of the rental agreement, and are submitted in favor of the owner, who would simply withdraw them in case of non-payment.

The Agricultural Bank then issues a certificate of deposit in favor of the owner. This certificate is the document that will be used to withdraw the deposited funds.

Is eviction the only request that can be made during eviction proceedings? If I am unable to collect the rent owed, do I lose it?

Yes, you may collect them, because during eviction proceedings, the landlord not only seeks the expulsion of the tenant from their property due to non-payment of rent, but also to have an order issued for the request of the rental payments owed. Additionally, landlords seek the termination of the rental contract, and if applicable, even liability for damages caused.

At our law firm Morillo Suriel – Attorneys at Law, we have a division specialized in Tourism and Estate Law in the Dominican Republic. Through that division, we can assist you with any questions or concerns you may have regarding these topics in the  Dominican Republic. Our attorneys are available to assist you regardless of where you are located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic or the rest of world. 

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Posted in: Real Estate Law


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