Author Topic: Tenant stopped communicating  (Read 3015 times)

Stachetastic

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Tenant stopped communicating
« on: February 08, 2016, 08:51:39 AM »
I've had a tenant whose lease ends the end of this month, then automatically goes month to month. She's been a great tenant this past year--always pays on time, takes good care of the place, communicates frequently with any maintenance concerns, etc. Well the first of this month came and went, and no word about rent. We texted, called, knocked on her door.... nothing. Over the weekend, our downstairs tenant texted that the other tenant appeared to be moving out. They left some mattresses on the front lawn, as well. My question: I was prepared to file an eviction, but it appears I won't need to if they get all their belongings out ASAP. How long do I give them? By looking in windows (they've taken the curtains down), I can see they still have a few cleaning supplies, some food, and that's about it. I'm tempted to put a 3 day notice on the door just to send a message bc I'm really frustrated they have been ignoring us and not been notifying us of their vacancy. Should I just let it go and keep checking back to see when it's empty? I know I can't change the locks without a formal eviction if they've still got stuff in there. But I'm already out February rent, I don't want to hold off getting another tenant in there.

mskyle

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Re: Tenant stopped communicating
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2016, 09:07:48 AM »
In your jurisdiction, can you legally give someone a three-day notice to quit for being two weeks late with the rent and not returning phone calls? In most places, a three-day is for very serious stuff.

Stachetastic

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Re: Tenant stopped communicating
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2016, 09:15:12 AM »
Yes I can. I have given a 3 day notice before in much less time, and been in front of a judge for the eviction the next month.

Bearded Man

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Re: Tenant stopped communicating
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2016, 01:59:05 PM »
I'd post it. Tenants sometimes get too comfortable and sometimes the possibility of an eviction being on their record for life may help get them talking again.

I know in the past when I had a tenant that was getting out of control I invited them to leave and they got real cooperative real fast.

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: Tenant stopped communicating
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2016, 04:36:07 PM »
She is going to stiff you on the rent and use her deposit to pay it.  Or she may stay.

I would be tempted to evict.  Put a notice on the door you will be inspecting.  Then, if she calls you, you can ask questions.  Definitely start the eviction process with a notice.

J Boogie

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Re: Tenant stopped communicating
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2016, 09:21:21 AM »
I invited them to leave and they got real cooperative real fast.

That sounds like quite the invitation! Remember how you phrased it?

Goldielocks

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Re: Tenant stopped communicating
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2016, 01:34:57 PM »
What is the core worry?  Damages? Covering vacancy for too short notice?  Other?

Are you worried about being stuck for damages, or the deposit is not the full rent amount? 
Worried about lack of notice for moving out -- do they need to give you full 30 days at end of annual lease if it is reverting to monthly?


Notice for non-payment is standard practice, but if you don't want to do that, you could put 24 hr notice of inspection (annual, regular inspection for maintenance), and use that to check out the place for damage, maybe a chance to dialog.

Just be certain that you are not left with a vacant place but a tenant that has not given notice they have "moved out" --- and has not paid for their rent, either.  It could string on for a month plus a month of vacancy unless you get the eviction notice started.     

Stachetastic

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Re: Tenant stopped communicating
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2016, 02:32:54 PM »
What is the core worry?  Damages? Covering vacancy for too short notice?  Other?

Are you worried about being stuck for damages, or the deposit is not the full rent amount? 
Worried about lack of notice for moving out -- do they need to give you full 30 days at end of annual lease if it is reverting to monthly?


Notice for non-payment is standard practice, but if you don't want to do that, you could put 24 hr notice of inspection (annual, regular inspection for maintenance), and use that to check out the place for damage, maybe a chance to dialog.

Just be certain that you are not left with a vacant place but a tenant that has not given notice they have "moved out" --- and has not paid for their rent, either.  It could string on for a month plus a month of vacancy unless you get the eviction notice started.   

It appears they have moved 99% of their belongings out. Everything except some cleaning supplies and a bit of food, so at this point I just want them gone so I can get new tenants in. Still no word from them and they moved the majority of stuff last weekend. They also never paid a deposit (LONG story there) so I would just like to minimize financial damage and move on from here.

mskyle

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Re: Tenant stopped communicating
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2016, 03:31:28 PM »
I mean, I'm not a landlord, but I'd give them 24 hours notice (or whatever you're required to give) that you're coming by to clean, list the apartment, and start showing it. Do you have any reason to believe they intend to be living there at the end of the month? Last time I moved out of a place I just plain forgot some of my cleaning supplies and some food in the fridge. Also I was out of the country within 24 hours of moving out. I didn't stiff anyone on the rent though. But what I'm saying is, it seems highly likely that your tenant is not coming back.

As for getting the February rent money, that's a different matter and you can pursue it however you want, but a threat of eviction is a lot less threatening if you're already living someplace else, so I wouldn't count on that scaring the February rent out of your tenant.