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Thursday, 29 October 2015 05:00

Facing Rental Property Abandonment?

What are Landlord's Legal Rights?

tenant keysEvery landlord or real estate investor wants decent tenants the day they think of buying rental property. Quiet tenants are considered a good choice as they never create a fuss and live quietly without any complaints or arguments. But, sometimes this silence of the tenant raises the issue of abandonment.

Generally, landlords focus on trouble-makers and overlook the silent absentees. Silence is good, but not always! If you find that your tenants have disappeared without any notice or are off on long vacation, make sure you inquire about them to avoid any problems down the line.

Rental property abandonment is a major problem for landlords. Buying rental property involves such risks right from the very beginning. The situation gets worse if the tenants abandon their furniture, magazines, books, and even trash. If you are facing this kind of problem, the following are some tips that you should keep in mind.

Tenant Privacy Rights

There are certain tenant privacy rights that every owner and manager has to follow.

  • Landlords must give prior notice before landing for the property inspection
  • Landlords should not enter the premises without tenants' permission
  • They are not allowed to inspect at unreasonable hours of the day
  • They should include time and date on the notice

Tenants surely need a certain level of privacy. When buying a rental property, consider researching the area first and consider the average tenant profiles. But, if the owner values the privacy factor way ''too much'', you are neglecting your responsibility towards your property. You don't have to stalk your tenants, but at least be aware of what they are up to, so you can take the required action.

How to Handle a Disappearing Tenant

During an emergency, an owner or the manager is allowed to enter the property with no need to serve any notice. If you suspect abandonment of the property due to any reason, including rent payment ceasing, tenants are absent for a longer period, neighbors see tenants moving belongings and more. In such situations, landlords can enter their property without any permission to verify the situation. Before buying rental property, study the agreements and their respective clauses.

What You Can Do for Tenant Abandonment?

  • A provision in the lease. Make it a point in the lease as when would you consider the property abandoned? Two weeks or one month without communication? An acceptable time frame should be mentioned to deal with such instances in the future.
  • Check for the keys. If the tenants have left all the keys behind, the property has been abandoned. Make sure you change all the locks of your property. Make ample keys right at the time of buying rental property
  • Survey the property. Inspect your property and look for the things your tenants have left behind. Carefully check what they have taken and what's left. Before you throw out anything, have a look at your state’s personal property disposal laws.
  • Talk to an eviction attorney. If you have any doubt, you can consult an attorney to avoid any problems in the future. It is good to clear the abandoned property and fill the vacancy so that previous tenants couldn't file wrongful lockout claims.

Buying rental property involves a lot of factors including the prospect of an abandoned home. Property abandonment can be frustrating, so it is good to plan ahead of time and be aware of your local state laws to avoid any problem down the line.

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