Tenant says they are not coming back. Sell they're stuff.

6 Replies

I have a 2 bed/1 bath rental in a 55+ community in Riverside, Ca. Last week I had a neighbor of my rental call to inform me that another neighbor had called the police to do a welfare check on my tenant. Due to my tenants mail overflowing and not seeing her for 2 weeks. I called the tenant and left a voicemail she texted me back (she would only text) saying that her daughter had to have surgery and she would return that following Tuesday. Rent was due that Wednesday. I texted her on Thursday saying rent is late, she tells me she mailed it out Monday and included the $50 late fee. Still have not received rent check.

This morning I received the following from her in a text.: "I am still at my daughters. I do not know when I will be back. Things are not good. The rent check got returned to me. So, please use my deposit  for September rent and sell anything you want. I will not be back."

We have a year lease that ends in June of 2019. I am not sure how I should proceed. Any info on how to handle this appropriately would be greatly appreciated.

Barbara,

It's important in a situation like this to CYA and follow the right procedure.  Still send her late payment notices and document everything.  While as humans we want to give her benefit of the doubt, it sounds like there is a lot of tangible events that constantly went wrong.  Some states also require that after the eviction or move-out you keep their personal property for a set number of days.  It's best in this situation to stick to the legal script just in case it backfires.

There was a podcast episode that covered something very similar, can't remember the number or guest but it was a few years back.  Anyways, the tenant was in the hospital and couldn't pay rent.  It turned out to be a fabricated story I believe and his advice in that situation was treat it like any other eviction.  Which included sending the late payment notices on-time and eventually the eviction notice.

Hope this helps, and hoping for the best in this situation.

I think @Kenny Dahill has a great point, but I'd talk to a lawyer about your local laws and if the process can be expedited if the ex-tenant is cooperative about surrendering possession in a legally satisfactory way. That way you can avoid weeks or months of screwing around. That's probably preferable to evicting and being able to make a claim on her for the lease. 'Blood from a stone' and all that.

I agree with @Johann Jells - If you are in contact with the tenant and they are being somewhat cooperative, consider yourself lucky! 

You might consider engaging an attorney to draft a "Mutual Agreement to Terminate Lease" or something to that effect that is valid in your state.

A simple 1-2 page agreement outlining that 1) she has surrendered or abandoned the premises, 2) you have her permission to dispose of her personal property, 3) and you have her permission to liquidate her deposit for past due rent, can save you tons of potential legal headaches down the road, and would likely be far less expensive and time consuming than an eviction.

Forget trying to collect on the remaining months of the existing lease. Instead, focus on the fastest way to legally regain possession of the unit and get it performing again.

Great Knowledge Thank you for taking the time to respond to my situation.   Bigger pockets is a great way to brain storm our way through different situations with great minds.  You guys are awesome!!

Originally posted by @Jeff Copeland :

I agree with @Johann Jells - If you are in contact with the tenant and they are being somewhat cooperative, consider yourself lucky! 

You might consider engaging an attorney to draft a "Mutual Agreement to Terminate Lease" or something to that effect that is valid in your state.

A simple 1-2 page agreement outlining that 1) she has surrendered or abandoned the premises, 2) you have her permission to dispose of her personal property, 3) and you have her permission to liquidate her deposit for past due rent, can save you tons of potential legal headaches down the road, and would likely be far less expensive and time consuming than an eviction.

Forget trying to collect on the remaining months of the existing lease. Instead, focus on the fastest way to legally regain possession of the unit and get it performing again.

 Agreeing with this. Your number 1 priority is get the unit operating again ASAP. Easiest way to do this is to get old tenant to sign off on everything. Eviction is more expensive and takes much more time.

I personally, would still document everything and consider going after the old tenant for damages, but that is only after getting everything cleaned and re-rented.