I have a tenant that owes me money, she finally got out, which is great, however she was about to be served the small claim docs after the labor day weekend by sheriff, but now shes gone and i dont know her new location. Im told she moved one town over to another sorry landlords rental. Anybody experienced with tracking people down like this? Im owed about 6k so im not giving up any time soon.
@Matthew Wright I admire your persistence but I must admit this isn't something I'd go after. I'd just flip the unit and find someone better. Love to hear if you ever get it out of them!
@Matthew Wright Do you know where she works? You can also see if she's forwarding her mail to her new home.
Funny how people on BP recommend all the time to buy a property that nets you a mere $100-$200 cash flow per month, but then just walk away from $6,000 that someone rightfully owes you. That's a lot of money. If she owes it to you, you should try to get it. Never understood why some people just give up so quick, but it's no wonder that tenants like this just keep doing this to other landlords.
I'm just not the type to give up or let something like that go. In fact, you can read about my previous experience taking an ex-tenant to small claims court here: https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/52/topics/252435-taking-a-tenant-to-small-claims-court-part-1
Anyway, to answer your question @Matthew Wright , you can serve her at work or anywhere you can find her. She doesn't have to be served at home. (Hopefully you're initial rental application collected lots of helpful information for her - i.e. work address, next of kin, emergency contacts, etc.) Check social media profiles (I've seen people post their new home address on their Facebook pages). Google their name and check other sites like Whitepages, MyLife, etc. They will often have home address listed, though if she just moved it may take a while to show up.
Check online professional sites for current/new work info (i.e. LinkedIn, etc). I once found an ex-tenant this way and saw that she was listed on an online resource directory for people in the medial profession with her work address and phone number. Made it pretty easy to serve her.
If you don't want to do this work, or can't for some reason, hire a process server or PI to track her down. It's not that expensive and for $6,000, I would think it would be well worth it. (I once paid only $100 to have someone served.) They have access to skip tracing databases that make it very easy to find someone.
Other options: send mail to her old address (your rental) with "Return Service Requested" written on the envelope so that it comes back with the new address once they've started forwarding their mail with USPS. More about how to do that here: https://thedarkpark.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/how-to-find-someones-forwarding-mail-address-without-them-knowing/
If nothing else, I’d suggest at least reporting the debt on your ex-tenant's credit report with a service like one of these: Rent Recovery Service or Debt Reporting Service. You don’t even need a judgment to report it, and - who knows - maybe some day they’ll need/want to pay it off. At a minimum, it’ll warn other landlords who check they’re credit that they're a problem tenant.
Best of luck to you!
@Kyle J. thanks a lot for the feedback and resources, a huge help!