When you choose to rent out a property to new tenants you are opening yourself up for all kinds of surprises. Sure, you have done your due diligence and gone through the screening process, but not everything on paper matches up with reality. That's not to say that the screening process isn't a vital part of choosing a new tenant, but the reality is that sooner or later, if you're in the business long enough, you'll probably run across someone that looked a lot better on paper than they do as they're leaving your property.
There are two types of non-paying tenants: the ones that stay and the ones that leave in the middle of the night. Neither are good and if you're stuck with a huge bill that they should have paid it's even worse, but sadly it does happen. Both have their own sets of problems associated with them. A tenant that will not leave even after he or she has stopped paying may need to be evicted and removed, but one that takes off without warning may leave the property in complete dispensary.
If the tenant leaves and does not take everything with them then you are responsible for those items. Many states have very specific guidelines that you'll need to follow when disposing of the former tenants belonging so that they cannot come back and claim that you handled the situation poorly and possibly even sue you for the property that they left behind. Make sure to know the details of your local laws so that you don't find yourself backed into a corner.
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