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11 Tips On How to Deal With Tenants That Skip Out

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It can be an uncomfortable moment when your tenant stops returning calls and emails.  It may be completely innocent. They may have gone on vacation, found themselves too busy to return your call quickly, or a number of other things that will not affect their timely payment of rent. If you’ve been in the rental business for any length of time or have heard any horror stories, your mind might wander to less-than-innocent possibilities in which your tenants have packed up their belongings and moved out without notice, leaving you on the hook for damages done and rent left unpaid. That’s a place that no landlord wants to find themselves in if it can be helped, but LandlordStation has gathered a few tips and tricks together to help you approach the situation in the best way possible.

  1. Sudden Loss of Communication – There are many reasons why a tenant may cut off communication, either intentionally or accidentally. Make sure you don’t jump to the wrong conclusion first off, but also don’t take too long to act if you can’t reach them.
  2. Follow These Steps – You need a balanced approach with a tenant that shuts off communication with you, but these steps should help you make sure that you don’t find yourself in a bad position as a landlord.
  3. Determining Abandonment – As a landlord you will need to find out if the tenant has legally abandoned your property and then take the appropriate action from there.
  4. Understanding Judgement Collections – Choosing to seek out a judgement collection against your former tenant is one way that you may recover overdue rent or damages that a tenant leaves if they vacate your rental early. If you’re thinking about going this route, make sure you understand what all that includes.
  5. Seeking a Judgement – When a tenant skips out and leaves you with the bill, there are legal routes that you can take to receive a chance to regain at least some of what you are owed.
  6. Reporting a Judgement to a Credit Bureau – Even if a tenant abandons your property, leaves with rent due and damages unpaid, there is a certain route that you must take to report a judgement to one of the credit bureaus.
  7. Picking a Collection Agency – You may wish to work with a collection agency to receive the money owed to you. If so, you will need to know how to choose the right one.
  8. Working with the Collection Agency – If you have never worked with a collection agency before, you may wish to take a look on these tips so that you know what to expect from the experience.
  9. Keep it Legal – A tenant that leaves without warning can be frustrating, but you don’t want to let your frustrations cause you to approach the situation in an illegal manner. Your best chance to regain some of the money that you’ve lost on that tenant will come by handling it within the law.
  10. Tracking Down Their New Address – There are a variety of reasons why you may need an old tenant’s new address, but if you are going to file for a judgement against them, you may need to be able to contact them directly.
  11. Warning Other Landlords – If a tenant breaks their lease with you, skips out owing money, and/or causes damage to your rental, there’s a good chance that you’ll want to make sure that any future landlords that they try to apply with don’t meet the same fate as you did. Be careful how you approach warning others.

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