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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    2

    Default How to Reclaim Rental Premises Abandoned by a Tenant

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: 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. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,097

    Default Re: How to Reclaim Rental Premises Abandoned by a Tenant

    Quote Quoting ollie2013
    View Post
    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: 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?
    Your next step is to get back in there ASAP and make sure that the water didn't get turned back on again. There is really nothing stopping you from proceeding with cleanup either.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: How to Reclaim Rental Premises Abandoned by a Tenant

    There's relatively recent legislation that helps a landlord deal with personal property left by a tenant.

    It sounds like the former tenant owes for a lot more than just August rent -- as in, some serious damage to the premises. If you have a security deposit, be sure to follow state law to the letter in relation to your attempts to retain it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: How to Reclaim Rental Premises Abandoned by a Tenant

    She left the key for us. I know she may have a copy which is why I have dead bolts on now. She had no key for deadbolts and didn't want one either.
    I check property 2 to 3 times a day just in case. I need to know if I can go in the house and start with disposal of garbage.
    I posted the 10 day pay or quit for non payment of rent and a notice of 10 days to pick up belongings.
    Do I legally have possession since she left the key? She gave no 30 day notice and no fotwarding address.
    Where am I at now with the process?
    I am aware and plan to do damage reort within 30 days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: How to Reclaim Rental Premises Abandoned by a Tenant

    If it were me, I'd go through the eviction process (just to cover "all bases) but also be contacting the police to file charges against this woman for vandalizing your rental property (i.e., pipes removed from the sink, shower heads missing, any water damage from the plugged bathtub).

    I'd also consider the property abandoned and begin the process of getting it ready to re rent.

    Once a warrant is out on her and if she is stopped for anything minor (even a routine traffic check) she is likely to find herself sitting in the back of a police car in handcuffs. You would be notified of a court date regarding the criminal charges against her and (hopefully) could also proceed with civil changes for owed rent and your costs of cleaning up the place.

    As previously mentioned, follow your states requirements for informing her of her status of her security deposit within the required time period for your state. Since you do not know her new address, send this information to her last known address (your rental property), collect the letter and keep it unopened in your files as proof that made your good faith effort in notifying her of her security deposit status.

    Gail

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