Eviction/moved out partially

13 Replies

My tenant did not pay her rent (was due June 15). I contacted her, and her car had broke down..so she bought a new one. She was also moving her dad back to Illinois from Florida. She was on the fence about moving because she wasn’t sure if she could afford it. Anyway she drug me along for 2 weeks. I served her a 5 day notice. She actually moved out and hasn’t been living there when I served it, but had a majority of her belongings there. She moved the majority of it this week, but has some clothes and trash in there. She quit responding to me, and She switched the electricity and water to her apartment. I am calling my attorney Monday to see what is next for me to do. Luckily I’ve been renting 3 properties for about 9 years and this is the first problem that couldn’t be resolved. I know I need to be more business like and less giving. So I have a few questions: 1) What would you have done or would do in my situation? 2) does she still need an eviction, because she hasn’t lived there in about 20-25 days. Our lease voids at 15 days. 3) Can you send someone to collections, or is there a court process for that? She technically is suppose to give 60 days notice of moving. Right now I can’t even show the property because there is clothes that were left and trash everywhere. 4) Do you have a time line you follow for tenants...like rent due the 1st, and what do you do if they don’t pay, and worst case scenario? 4) any other advice?

@Heather Rodden idk where you are but that probably matters in this situation. I would tell your former tenant if the stuff is still there after a certain you’re dumping it.

I had tenant move out a month before
Lease ended. Not pay rent and leave junk behind. T was moved and dumped.

At this point a formal eviction is probably useless, same with collections. You can check with locals though to be sure.

Here’s my process. 1. Rent due on first, grace period to 5th. Late after 5rh, late fee is 10 percent rent. PM tries to contact them 6-8 or so. If they can’t pay still, 5 day notice is served. By the 15th eviction has been filed.

You can attempt collections, but a court judgement has more force behind it.

Did you serve her personally or post on the door of the residence? Huge difference when standing in front of a judge.

Did she call to have the utilities shut off at your building or transferred to a new building? Your post is not clear. Could they have been shut off for non payment?

Send her a letter at the address she rented from you. Be nice, be civil yet tell her that anything left in the apartment after July 31st will be disposed of. Just below your return address write "Address Service Requested" It will cost you 50 cents or so. Knowing where she moved to will help in your eviction defense. Also address her security deposit as being forfeited due to trash, dirty conditions, damages what ever. Telling a tenant they have lost their deposit usually gets an "excited" response.

After the eviction take plenty of photos before throwing anything away or you may be the proud owner of a missing diamond ring.

Protect you self. Don't assume anything. Proceed with the eviction. Do you know where she works? Serve her at work.

If this is your first eviction hire a lawyer even though you don't have to. Watch what they do like a hawk. Don't have an attorney let me know and I can hook you up.

Don't show the property until you are certain of the eviction.

I have tracked down a tenant in rehab and had them sign a release allowing me to pitch their stuff. Get a release ready. Maybe she will sign in exchange for some of her deposit back.

There’s a reason it’s called a 5 day notice and not a 17 day notice ! Here’s what I’d do . Change the locks so this parasite can’t come back . Post a notice on the door all contents are to be removed immediately . Take a picture with your phone of the notice . Wait a day or two , then I’d Consider her property as abandon at this point and toss all her crap out in the trash. Keep her deposit and chalk this up as a loss . You’ll never get a penny out of her . Move on to the next tenant

I wouldnt be so hasty with 'abandoned' property. (But I am in California) send  a note describing items to the address you last have for her (I like the update advice given above) and give her the state allowed time. Discarding obvious trash isnt a problem, and if the property left behind isnt worth much, say less than 300...put it in large trash bags, store for the required time then dispose. If its a motor vehicle or more expensive items...look up your state guidelines. 

I should have added Every state is different on protocol for abandon property .. that being said in *some cases* if it’s a for sure thing you gotta move forward and mitigate loss because your losing money everyday by not having a tenant in the unit and there’s a great chance that person is long gone never to return 

I would ask the attorney to figure out what the laws in your state are. I haven't personally gone through this, but it may be worth getting a judgement depending on the process in your state. Obviously, I'm not an attorney and I haven't verified this with one, but I've heard in my state you can charge a storage fee (equal to a month's rent) for holding their property, charge them whatever amount your lease says for releasing fee, and then add on whatever damages the deposit won't cover. I'm sure there are a lot more technicalities to it, but that's my general understanding. 

You can then try to get a judgement if it makes sense to spend your time on that. There are people that will buy your collections at a discounted amount, so if it's worth it you may be able to still get some money for your time. 

Hello,

What state are you in? In a Illinois, you can’t just change locks and call it off. If she doesn’t response to 5 day notice, you have to file for forcible entry detainer. 

If she has abondand the property, you will need to go back to your lease agreement. 

Also, it’s very important to use a server for all notices because it’s not considered served unless they actually received it. 

Hope it helps. 

@GeorgeSkidis
I personally served her at work, and she signed and agreed to it. But then wanted to wait to use the same uhaul her daughter was using (still within the 5 days since there was a holiday). She transferred the water to her sisters apartment since she couldn’t afford the deposit (she was living with my tenant), and the electricity I am not sure what the case for that is. I’ve texted and called her, with no response. When I call it goes straight to voicemail so I’m wondering if my number is blocked. She hasn’t lived there in weeks, and just kept pushing back when she was going to move her stuff. I went in the other day with an officer, and didn’t touch anything, but it appeared to be just clothes in the bottoms of the closets and all over the laundry room, a crib, a dog cage, and bags of trash. There is also a small trampoline in the yard. I’m going to call my attorney tomorrow to see what he recommends. The house is actually right next to mine and no one has been there since she brought the U-Haul and got the majority of her stuff. She said she still had a little to get, but I’m thinking she was just going to clean up all the trash...but for whatever reason quit responding.
Would my attorney have the release, or is it something I can find myself?

Update: it actually worked out better than I thought. She got over there and cleaned it. Paid for the carpet shampooing (not a requirement because I usually do it). And made a payment for rent, and is in contract to have me paid off by the middle of August.