I have tenant who is in jail. He owes back rent. I found out he’s in jail from his father who called me. It seems he is cooperative, wants his belonging stored and to get out of his lease. The tenant asked his father to store his belongings, however, the father doesn’t have a key. It’s unclear where the tenant’s key is. The father asked me to let him in, so he could remove the belongings but I’m hesitant to do that without any authorization. I’ve read some of the discussion of evictions and abandonment but have a different question…. His father thinks that he could get access to the tenant and have him write a letter to us. What would you advise he write the letter to both hurry the process and cover us against any liability? It seems to me at least two things should be in it, first, his intention to leave the property and get out the lease. Second, authorization for us, or his father, or someone, to remove his belongings.
Is there any such form letter we could use as an example? Any advice would be appreciated.
Is he in jail, or in prison? Either way, you can visit him and get the proper authorization from him to terminate the lease, keep his damage deposit for money he owes, and have his father get his belongings out so you can move on with a new tenant. I'd do that as soon as possible.
You covered it, just write it in plain English.
I think the letter is a great idea! We had this happen with a tenant at the apartment complex where I worked and we got written permission from him to remove his belongings and give his mother a key. Getting written proof that he approved the termination of his lease and authorized his father to remove his belongings will save you a headache in the future if he tries to take legal action against you.