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What do i need to do now?

Discussion in 'Eviction, Recovery of Premises' started by donnad3, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. donnad3

    donnad3 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Pennsylvania
    We were on vacation last week and came home August 1st around 6pm. We noticed we had no rent from a tenant and decided to go to the property to obtain it. Lights were on, air conditioners running and towels hanging out to dry. There were no curtains on the windows and most if not all furniture was gone. We also heard water running. We decided to do an emergency inspection after neighbor said she saw a moving truck there the day before. We had been given no notice that tenant was leaving at the end of the month. We have had prior discussions with her in the past 6 months that since she had a verbal lease with MTM agreement she could leave at any time by giving 30 days notice.
    We walked in the house and were speechless. The bathtub had been plugged and water left running, pipes removed from sink, shower heads missing etc.
    The key was left on the counter along with a rambling scathing note about horrible it was to live there. Anything left in the house was garbage--a chewed up couch, broken dresser, empty boxes, sweeper that had cord cut, old paint cans. In the note she stated she was leaving the stove which she had purchased.
    We locked up the house and have not been in since.
    I have gotten no notice from utility companies concerning transfer of utilities.
    What next?
    Neighbor stated she thought she saw tenant there on the first and air conditioners running and lights were left on.
    What would be my next couple steps and does tenant owe for August rent?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Of course the tenant owes rent in accordance with the lease, or the month to month tenancy statutes in PA.

    But, let's be honest for a minute, you'll never see so much as one dollar of the rent you are owed.

    I suggest you do two things.

    Please, don't delay any longer, as it may already be too late.

    But, you should do the following three things:

    One, contact the local police authority. File a police report for "malicious destruction of property", "vandalism", or whatever the applicable statute is in your state for what the vandals are alleged to have done to your property.

    The police will determine if they wish to pursue it, but you would be wise to report it. I also suggest you document what was done to your property by taking still photos and a video as you walkthrough the premises.

    Two, if you have a property management firm engaged, report your findings to them immediately. Once they are informed, I'm sure they will have further advice. If this doesn't apply, move on to item three.

    Three, let's define what the tenants have done regarding their tenancy. What they've done is called "abandonment". Here is how your state defines "abandonement".

    There are two types of abandonment, personal property of the tenant, and your premises:

    Personal property:

    Pennsylvania Finally Passes Act 129 Law on Abandoned Tenant Property | Dornish Law Offices, PC & Dornish Settlement Services, LLC

    Pennsylvania Law Now Addresses What to Do with Tenants' Abandoned Property


    Act of Jul. 5, 2012,P.L. 1091, No. 129 Cl. 68 - LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT OF 1951 - DISPOSITION OF ABANDONED PERSONAL PROPERTY


    Rental property:

    Abandonment of Rental Property

    What Should the Landlord Do if the Tenant Abandons the Premises | Dornish Law Offices, PC & Dornish Settlement Services, LLC

    Landlord Tenant FAQ’s



    Landlord Tenant Legal Questions & Answers

    Okay, what can you do right now?

    You can take that video and those pictures.
    You can also change the locks and attempt to secure the premises, in case the MISCREANT, VANDALS return, as some often do.
     
  3. donnad3

    donnad3 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I alteady have the pictures and a video of the tub with the water running. I have the actual tool she used to damage the fence as well. New locks were just purchased and i guess a trip to the police tomorrow to file a report.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The longer you wait, the more likely the police might be inclined to not pursue the matter. I suggest you call the police and have them meet you at the location ASAP.

    If you are insured, you immediately want to report the matter to your insurer. The insurer will likely want to dispatch an adjuster to appraise the amount of destruction you've suffered.
     

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