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Tenant missing and no rent paid

Discussion in 'Commercial Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by perrine, Mar 18, 2010.

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  1. perrine

    perrine Law Topic Starter New Member

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    We rent a commercial space to our tenant. He utilizes the space primarily for storage and travels several weeks each month. We received a check for rent in January and have not heard from him or seen him since. Desperate to locate him, we contacted a friend (listed on his initial lease application) who informed us that she had heard through another friend that he had lost his phone. She, too, had no way to contact him and had received no communication from him either. She offered to pay his February rent, and we contacted her the last week in February to accept her offer. On March 15th, we sent an email demanding that March rent be paid by March 22nd, and that April rent be received no later than April 1st. Again, we have received no communication by email, phone, or mail. His 1 year lease was up February 28th. At this point, we have to assume that he is on a month-to-month rental agreement since he has not been available to sign a new lease.
    What are our rights in terms of eviction? I had read that you need a 60 day "notice to vacate" for commercial properties. Is that correct? Is unpaid rent significant reason to evict? If so, since his friend paid February rent, is he considered delinquent only for March rent? Does his history of late payments for rent have any bearing on the legal outcome of this case, or is that unprovable in a court of law?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You should consider it abandonment. If you consider him to be on a month to month tenancy, you further harm yourselves!!! You don't want this person as a tenant. He has abandoned the property. You do yourselves a continued disservice by claiming he is your tenant. If you allow him to remain a tenant, you can not effect his LEGAL eviction.


    First off, here is some general advice concerning rental property.
    1. Use a well-crafted lease that addresses potential property abandonment. Warning - the landlord tenant abandonment laws will take precedent over any lease.

    2. Has the tenant abandoned the property? If the tenant abandons your rental property for 30 consecutive days, you should obtain a form called NOTICE TO BELIEVE ABANDONMENT (or a similar form and process in your state) and complete it, serve it, mail it(regular and certified), and attach it to the door of the property.

    3. Allow at least 30 days (maybe more in YOUR state) for the renter to respond. You will be losing rent, but the time elapsed will be important if the matter ends up in court.

    4. Start the eviction process. Mail, and post on the door a NOTICE TO PAY RENT OR QUIT form.

    5. Wait for 60 days. (Could be more or less in your STATE, check your state laws.) You may now enter the unit to assess the amount of property left in the unit. You can change the locks. You will need to figure out if you should hold a sale, move the property to a storage unit, or rent a dumpster. You will usually need to do a combination of these things. What looks like a collection of "junk" to you will become "valuable heirlooms" if and WHEN it goes to court.

    ___________________________________________________________



    http://www.thelpa.com/lpa/landlord-tenant-law/california-abandoned_property.html

    http://www.caanet.org/AM/Template.c...aggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=81&ContentID=13928
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Additional information for your review.


    What Constitutes Abandonment Of A Rental Property?
    A landlord can assume abandonment if:

    * The landlord does not know where the tenant is, the tenant is gone, the tenant has left behind furniture and other belongings, and the rent is unpaid for 15 days; or
    * The landlord does not know where the tenant is; and rent is unpaid; and tenant`s property is gone.

    The landlord must hold any property left behind for 30 days and make reasonable efforts to find the tenant. If, after 30 days the property still remains unclaimed, the landlord may sell the items and use the money to pay back overdue rent.


    http://resources.lawinfo.com/en/Leg...constitutes-abandonment-of-a-rental-prop.html
     
    perrine likes this.
  4. perrine

    perrine Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you, thank you. I really appreciate your quick response.
     

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