Property owners face the risk of an unruly tenant abandoning their property at any time.
Yes, even if your Parkville property management company conducts thorough tenant screenings of all prospective tenants, there is always the chance your tenant may unexpectedly vacate.
Dealing with a tenant that abandons your investment property presents a number of challenges.
First, what constitutes “abandonment?”
Secondly, what are you to do with your tenant’s deserted personal belongings? Moreover, how are you to recoup the losses you are sure to incur if your tenant simply disappears?
These are all very common questions property owners have when they learn a tenant has vacated their rental property without notice. And, while it may be tempting to simply clear out the property and immediately place new tenants in your rental, there are rules and regulations you and your property management company must follow before bringing in new tenants.
Today, we will share with you how to handle the unexpected abandonment of your Parkville rental property, so that if you are faced with this unfortunate situation, you know what you should (and shouldn’t) be doing.
What is Considered Abandonment of Your Parkville Rental Property?
There are times when it is unclear whether your tenant has actually abandoned your property.
In some instances, your tenant may abandon your property, yet leave their personal belongings behind. This complicates things.
To help clarify, here are some indications that your Parkville tenant has vacated your investment property and moved on:
- Vacant Property. Your property management company should conduct routine inspections of your rental property throughout the tenant’s lease to ensure things are going well. These routine check-ins become particularly important when things are going poorly with your tenant (g. failure to pay rent or communicate). If you notice that your tenant’s personal belongings are gone, and the lease term is not up, then they may have abandoned the property.
- Failure to Respond. If you have provided your tenant with notices regarding their failure to pay the rent and they have not responded, it is possible that they have abandoned the property. In this situation, check on your property to determine whether the tenant is still residing there.
- Moving Truck Sightings. One great way to find out whether your tenant may have abandoned your property is to ask the neighbors if they have noticed anyone moving out of the home lately. Chances are if your tenant moved out, someone saw people coming and going with personal belongings.
What Should You Do If Your Parkville Tenant Abandons Your Rental Property?
If you have determined that your tenants abandoned your investment property, there are crucial steps you need to take.
Luckily, if you employ Parkville’s top property management company, we will know exactly how to handle this situation for you.
However, for those that self-manage, or are unsure about what to do when an abandoned property becomes an issue, follow these guidelines.
1. Keep All Written Notices
Oftentimes an abandoned property, as unexpected as it may seem, is not all that unexpected if you were having recent problems with your tenant. For instance, maybe you provided your tenant with a rent reminder a week earlier. If your tenant had no intention of paying the rent, and ultimately abandoned the property, it is important you keep documentation of the steps you took to remedy the initial problem.
Document all phone calls, written notices, and emails in case your tenant comes back and tries to claim you improperly evicted them from the property. This record keeping strategy serves as a way to protect yourself in the case of a legal dispute.
2. Schedule a Thorough Inspection
As with all vacant properties, whether abandoned or properly vacated, a complete move-out inspection is required. This gives you and your property management company a chance to document all damage incurred by the tenant.
The inspection will then allow you to itemize the damage, as is required by law, and keep the security deposit the tenant paid at the time of move-in.
Here are some things to remember:
- Always document in writing the move-out inspection, especially if the tenant is not there to confirm damages
- Photograph any damage for use in court, if necessary
- Follow all security deposit rules, regardless of the tenant’s abandonment
3. Change the Locks and Deal with Abandoned Belongings
After conducting a thorough move-out inspection, immediately change the locks on your property and secure all entryways so that your tenant cannot enter. From here, you can begin to deal with items your tenant left behind.
If your Parkville tenant abandoned not only your property, but their belongings as well, have your property management company or real estate attorney help you draft appropriate notices. These notices will do the following:
- Inventory the belongings left behind
- Estimate the value of the belongings
- Dictate where the tenant may pick up the belongings
- Determine a time limit for claiming any personal belongings left behind
- Identify how you will dispose of any unclaimed property
Next, serve the notices according to your state and local laws, and wait for the abandoning tenant to react. If your tenant left a vehicle behind, make sure to report it to the local police and have the car towed.
4. Advertise the Property as Vacant and Begin Anew
After following all the proper avenues for dealing with a tenant that has unexpectedly abandoned your rental property, it is time to aggressively advertise your property as vacant. Screen all potential tenants and place a new (and hopefully higher quality) tenant in your rental to avoid additional loss in income.
In the end, dealing with a tenant that has disappeared unexpectedly is a huge hassle.
Once you’ve spent the time to determine whether a tenant has truly abandoned your property, next comes surveying the damage that may have been done by your tenant, followed by the proper handling of any belongings they left behind.
Because this process can be incredibly stressful, having an experienced property management company, such as Bay Management Group, to help handle these serious situations is crucial.
The last thing you want to face is a misstep while handling an abandoned rental home.
By employing Bay Management Group to draft proper notices, conduct inspections, document your every move, and dispose of personal belongings in the proper way, you can alleviate a lot of stress.
In addition, we are better equipped to help you recoup any monetary loss you may have incurred as a result of this unexpected abandonment.
So, contact Bay Management Group today and see how we can help you with your abandoned Parkville property, as well as all other things property related.