In a perfect world, landlords would never have to worry about tracking down former tenants.
Unfortunately, tenants will sometimes break a lease or vacate a property owing more money than their security deposit could possibly cover.
These tenants often don't want to be found by a former landlord, but the Internet has a wealth of information that can help property managers track down these individuals.
Anyone who has typed a name into Google has likely found that a huge chunk of personal information is readily available for all to see.
Fortunately, this works in the favor of landlords when they need to track down former tenants.
A basic name search is the best place to start.
Even when Google doesn't easily return these results, it's often still possible to find a former tenant's new address and phone number on Whitepages.
If this information is readily available, a landlord's independent research could be enough to find a former tenant.
In-Depth Rental Agreements
Landlords can use online property management software to acquire in-depth legal documents.
The tenant should fill out employment information and provide references, and a landlord should verify all of this information before renting out a unit.
If a tenant skips out, the detailed rental agreements and verifying information comes in handy. It's often possible to contact these references to track down the former tenant.
When speaking to a reference, you may wish to ask if they have the current address available for follow-up purposes.
Skip Tracing Services
Those who use Whitepages or similar sites to find former tenants will see advertisements for skip tracing sites that offer to provide additional personal information.
Sometimes these sites are the only resort a landlord will have for tracking down someone who owes them a substantial amount of money.
Unfortunately, skip tracing services can be costly, and if a person has rented an apartment with someone else or moved in with a relative, there's likely little information on record that these paid services can provide.
Depending on the amount of money owed by the former tenant, however, the investment may be well worth it.
If the Internet Fails
Unfortunately, there are some things that even the Internet can't do.
Even if it seems impossible to find information online, an old fashioned change of address with the United States Postal Service (USPS) can help you find a missing tenant.
You can potentially get a former tenant's new address by simply sending a piece of mail addressed to the tenant at the property he used to rent from you.
On the letter, it's important to write "Address Service Requested."
Within a year of the change of address, the USPS will forward the mail to the tenant's new address and send a notice to you, the sender of the letter, with that new address.
Between 13 and 18 months after the request, the mail will be returned to you with the new address attached.
This is an inventive way to find a former tenant's new address so they can be served legal papers.
Thanks to evolving technology, it's more difficult than ever for individuals to remain hidden.
When a tenant disappears with the intent to cheat a landlord out of money, online tools and tracking procedures offer landlords a good chance at tracking delinquents down.
Many times, there are issues between a landlord and a tenant that need to be resolved but are failed to do so, because both parties have gone too far with their actions, and have retaliated in the... More
Where there is a landlord, there will also be a tenant, and it is no surprise that these two parties can only work together once there is some sort of agreement, contract or a binding deal in place.... More
Many landlords find it difficult to write and draft a lease agreement. Since every State has its own general template, it can also be difficult to make sure your lease agreement meets all the criteria... More
Becoming a landlord is a major deal and no one can simply get up and think, “well, yes I think I should be a landlord and rent out my flat.” If you are thinking that you would like to be a landlord,... More
If you’re a landlord and want to manage your business in a better way, you should endeavor to get in touch with those industry experts who have the experience and the skills to help you do it. This is... More
Landlords and aspiring landlords, do not become as such, without guidance and advice. There is a lot that goes into being a landlord nowadays; in fact, there is so much to learn that it often confuses... More
Renting out an apartment or a house can become a constant revenue source for landlords, but at the same time, it gives rise to several problems. It is a fact that high standards, a strict lease... More
If you are currently thinking of becoming a landlord only because it helps you have a constant stream of income, you should think twice. It’s not that you should not consider offering your property... More
When you talk about the most common disputes arising between landlords and tenants, nonpayment of rent has to be there in the list. People rent their properties to earn money, and when a tenant... More