I have a property in Riverdale, GA.
A tenant has been in the property for one year. To renew the lease, they wanted some repairs and improvements which I agreed to do.
We did run into some difficulty with installing new kitchen cabinets and the tenant could not use the kitchen from Friday to the next Tuesday morning. But all the work was completed and done very well.
Now the tenant has not paid rent for ten days.
I'm afraid they may have vacated the property.
I am not on site and live out of state. So I can't drive over there and knock on the door.
My management company has called numerous times but the tenant does not respond. My management company says in order for them to drive out to the property to check if the tenant is still there, I'll need to order an onsite inspection for $100.
Has anyone had this same problem?
Is there a way an owner can remotely check if the tenant is still at the property?
Is there a service that can visit the property and take photos in order to verify that the tenant is still occupying the house?
I feel a bit troubled asking this because it borders on spying and invasion of privacy issues, which I dislike. But knowing if the tenant has vacated unexpectedly would save me time in getting a new tenant and taking early precautions against vandalism which can plague unoccupied properties.
Thanks in advance.
What is your management company doing about the unpaid rent? Can't they look in the windows and see if the big screen and the beds are still there while they post the Pay or Quit Notice? I think it is ridiculous that your management company is charging you $100 for an inspection. What are you paying them for? Have them post the 24 hour notice to enter (or whatever your local laws require), and then enter and see if valuable belongings are still there.
You're best bet may be to call the utility company to see if the electricity is still on.
Call a neighbor if you know any, handyman or service professional you know to pay the property a visit.
$100 for property visit is ridiculous.
@John Myers OK, that just sounds ridiculous, especially if the tenant has not paid rent. First call their emergency number they listed on their rental application, then check their Facebook (social sites), try texting. Next, put a piece of tape on the door jamb that they access the house with, check in a few days to see if it is broken, you know that they are around.
Third, call the utility company, and lastly, have the management company take the extra key to see if anyone is actually still living there
Worst case scenario, you will need to file eviction
24 hour notice to enter for an inspection. Once you're in, I'm sure you'll be able to tell if they have vacated or not.
There are some things to check that come to my mind that would tell you if they've been there or not. Keep in mind, I was in the Navy and did a lot of inspections of junior Sailors so I learned a few tricks here and there.
-As soon as you walk in, shut off all the lights within front doors reach and lay a flashlight on the ground. If there's an even coat of dust then someone hasn't walked through in a while.
-Check the dish drying rack/dishwasher. Are things dry? If there is any tupperware in there, pick it up and turn it right side up. Water always collects in the fold where the cover goes over. If there's water, someone washed it recently.
-Still on the dish drying rack. Look where the utensils are put into. Is the bottom wet or dry? Same as above.
-Apply the flashlight technique from the first thing to the bathroom/shower.
-Check any oil splatter on the stove. If it's still soft and oily, probably means it's pretty recent.
This may seem like a lot but honestly it takes no more than 15 minutes and could give you a good idea.
Thanks to everyone for your advice. I greatly appreciate it.
I called the power company and they told me the power was still on. I asked if any power was being used, but they just repeated that there is power (electricity) at the property.
So, it seems someone is occupying the house.
I recently had a chimney inspection and they found a crack in the firebox. They suggested I turn off the gas main that leads to the fireplace until the crack can be repaired.
I'll ask the management company to send a repair person to turn off a gas line that leads to the fireplace.
I'll also request that the repair person verify if the tenant is still at the property.
In addition, I've asked the management company to send a letter requesting the tenant pay rent immediately and if they are not able to do so, they should contact the office asap.
As you can see, I need to find a better management company who'll work with me, not nickle and dime me.
If anyone knows of a good source to get a referral for excellent property management in the south Atlanta area, I'd appreciate the info. This has been going on for months and needs to be changed for the better.
Check on the NARPM Site. This lists all of the professional managers by state and area. There are several great managers from Atlanta here on BP.
You defiantly need a new management company. Yours should have served your tenant with a pay or quit notice the day after rent was due. If they are not do that basic service they are doing nothing to manage your business.
Tell them to serve the pay or quit notice and wait to see what happens or pay for a onsite inspection. It is the price of doing business.