Missing Tenant
Click here for Top Ten Discussions. CLICK HERE for Q & A Homepage
Receive Free Rental Owner Updates Email:  
MrLandlord Q & A
     
     
Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Jun 6, 2024 10:28 AM
       Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Jun 6, 2024 10:30 AM
       Missing Tenant (by ken [NY]) Jun 6, 2024 11:09 AM
       Missing Tenant (by Scott [IN]) Jun 6, 2024 11:12 AM
       Missing Tenant (by NE [PA]) Jun 6, 2024 11:14 AM
       Missing Tenant (by RB [TN]) Jun 6, 2024 11:15 AM
       Missing Tenant (by Scott [IN]) Jun 6, 2024 11:22 AM
       Missing Tenant (by Roy [AL]) Jun 6, 2024 11:27 AM
       Missing Tenant (by plenty [MO]) Jun 6, 2024 11:40 AM
       Missing Tenant (by ken [NY]) Jun 6, 2024 12:01 PM
       Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Jun 6, 2024 1:09 PM
       Missing Tenant (by Wilma [PA]) Jun 6, 2024 1:39 PM
       Missing Tenant (by Tim [CA]) Jun 6, 2024 2:59 PM
       Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Jun 6, 2024 4:03 PM
       Missing Tenant (by 6x6 [TN]) Jun 6, 2024 7:09 PM
       Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Jun 6, 2024 8:19 PM
       Missing Tenant (by 6x6 [TN]) Jun 6, 2024 10:35 PM
       Missing Tenant (by Sir Walter [NC]) Jun 7, 2024 4:04 AM
       Missing Tenant (by Sir Walter [NC]) Jun 7, 2024 4:44 AM
       Missing Tenant (by plenty [MO]) Jun 7, 2024 6:08 AM
       Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Jun 7, 2024 9:02 AM
       Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Jun 7, 2024 9:04 AM
       Missing Tenant (by Sir Walter [NC]) Jun 7, 2024 9:45 AM
       Missing Tenant (by S i d [MO]) Jun 7, 2024 9:55 AM
       Missing Tenant (by ken [NY]) Jun 7, 2024 9:55 AM
       Missing Tenant (by RB [TN]) Jun 7, 2024 11:04 AM
       Missing Tenant (by wmh [NC]) Jun 7, 2024 12:07 PM
       Missing Tenant (by 6x6 [TN]) Jun 7, 2024 5:47 PM
       Missing Tenant (by Tarheel T [NC]) Jun 7, 2024 6:25 PM
       Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Jun 7, 2024 7:32 PM
       Missing Tenant (by Sir Walter [NC]) Jun 8, 2024 6:09 AM
       Missing Tenant (by plenty [MO]) Jun 8, 2024 6:31 AM
       Missing Tenant (by Tarheel T [NC]) Jun 8, 2024 6:36 AM
       Missing Tenant (by Sir Walter [NC]) Jun 8, 2024 8:01 AM
       Missing Tenant (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Jun 10, 2024 12:47 AM

Click here to reply to this discussion.
Click Here to send this discussion to a friend

Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 10:28 AM
Message:

So...nurse rents one of our townhouses. She is there a couple of years, no problems. Gets a boyfriend, a local business owner with a dog. Asks if he can have his dog when he visits and we agree after he fills out the petscreening stuff. Then she asks to add him to lease and we agree, after he fills out a full application (he does.) Next lease is both of them on it.

He signs it. She never does. Somehow we never noticed that (don't ask, I don't know.) One month they are late due to system glitches (for real) and a few texts go back and forth - in one, she says, "Are you sending me the deposit?"

I respond asking what deposit and why - but never hear from her again, really. Months go buy, rent is paid, inspections are made, repairs are done, life is going on...suddenly realized she never signed the lease. Try to contact her many times with no response, and he says she never responds to him anymore either (first they said she was traveling. As a nurse it made sense.)

So now he is in there, signed lease, paying rent, no issues...but she is gone.

Going along with Roy's Round Table discussion idea, what would you do? --173.28.xx.xxx




Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 10:30 AM
Message:

Oh and just to add info: no he is not a convicted felon I would never have rented to - he is part of quite a successful restaurant biz. --173.28.xx.xxx




Missing Tenant (by ken [NY]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 11:09 AM
Message:

I wouldnt do anything as long as no problems,if i had to evict i would put both names on the paperwork and get the judgment against both --74.77.xx.xx




Missing Tenant (by Scott [IN]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 11:12 AM
Message:

She wiggled out of your lease. What can you do, except tell the boyfriend he owes you a security deposit since he can't use hers. --107.141.xx.xxx




Missing Tenant (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 11:14 AM
Message:

There’s a benefit to signing leases in person. You’d know then and there if the persons are present. I’d let it go. --24.152.xxx.xx




Missing Tenant (by RB [TN]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 11:15 AM
Message:

Sounds like the Tenant would rather be with just his dog. --69.130.xxx.xxx




Missing Tenant (by Scott [IN]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 11:22 AM
Message:

Around here, I wouldn't have to return her security deposit until she provided me with a written forwarding address. IDK how NC handles SD returns. --107.141.xx.xxx




Missing Tenant (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 11:27 AM
Message:

WMH,

Welcome to my online Round Table discussion. LOL. I would just let it go and not rock the boat here. Tenants disappearing is nothing new to me. My last tenant that disappeared had a warrant on him and he spent 4 months in jail in another state. Then he gets out and wants his deposit refunded. --71.207.xxx.xx




Missing Tenant (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 11:40 AM
Message:

I watch too much Dateline.... Thinking I would do nothing! Transfer her deposit to him. --172.59.xx.xx




Missing Tenant (by ken [NY]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 12:01 PM
Message:

Assuming the lease has both names listed but only 1 signed as it sounds would the fact she didnt sign change anything?I think it would be assumed that she simply didnt sign but the intent was that she would sign and everyone would treat it as though she had signed.i rarely have had to provide a copy of the lease at court,mainly the judge would ask to see proof my lease provides for the late fee i am asking for, i would hand over page 3 and that was it. --74.77.xx.xx




Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 1:09 PM
Message:

The deposit is the only issue at this point, and I am assuming (I know) that he paid her off the first time she asked about it. In NC we have to "hold the deposit" for six months after a tenant vacates if they don't provide a forwarding address. Well the 'new' lease started January 1st...I am just keeping the 'old' deposit in his name. He even paid the increase in deposit that accompanied the rent increase in January. So oh well. She gone. --173.28.xx.xxx




Missing Tenant (by Wilma [PA]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 1:39 PM
Message:

Sounds like you came out okay on this one, despite the signature omission. Congratulations! --108.36.xx.xxx




Missing Tenant (by Tim [CA]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 2:59 PM
Message:

If he paid her off for the deposit, I would let your tenant know that he needs to provide proof of that payment to you or when he eventually moves out, you'll be obligated to return the deposit to her. --73.2.xx.xx




Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 4:03 PM
Message:

No Tim I wouldn't. NC law says she has six months to provide a forwarding address or we can just keep the deposit. So if he stays the full year, she gives up her right to the deposit about half-way through. In fact she only has until July 1st to claim it even if she had followed all the steps to get it back (notice, move-out, inspection, etc.)

I will consider it left with the house for him. --146.70.xxx.xx




Missing Tenant (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 7:09 PM
Message:

Sly devils.

Would you rent to her again?

--76.129.xxx.xx




Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 8:19 PM
Message:

Good question, 6x6. Answer is NO. Life is too short for that nonsense. Take two seconds and answer me - what can I do, kick her out? She's already gone.

I have a clause in my lease that non-communication is a cause for eviction for non-monetary breach of lease and I almost feel like filing an eviction on her just so it's on her record. I'm in that sort of mood. --146.70.xxx.xx




Missing Tenant (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 10:35 PM
Message:

Thank you, WMH. --76.129.xxx.xx




Missing Tenant (by Sir Walter [NC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2024 4:04 AM
Message:

WMH,

It seems that you are still obligated to return the tenant's security deposit, even after six months. The NC Tenant Security Deposit Act is not the only law that applies. According to the NC Real Estate Commission, the Unclaimed Property Act also applies. It has very specific procedures for turning unclaimed property over to the state. Security deposits are specifically mentioned in the act. The penalty is steep for failure to comply. Other states have similar laws, with increasing visibility, as per the news reports on TV reuniting joyous people with long lost money. More information can be found at bulletins.ncrec.gov/unclaimed-property-nc-law-requires-annual-records-review-and-reporting/

This is just one more headache with respect to security deposits. This leads into my interest in hearing people's take on Brad's presentation regarding his rent lock fee. I have heard of landlord using a rent lock fee in lieu of taking a security deposit to avoid the associated pitfalls. But those landlords were also MTM. Someone else used a front-loaded rent method by setting their first month's rent to double the subsequent months' rent. Others did some variation of capturing more money up front, but supplemented it with requiring the tenant to maintain a security deposit bond throughout the tenancy. (SayRhino, SureDeposit, the Guarantors). I couldn't make the convention this year, but that would be interesting to hear others say after hearing the details of Brad's approach. That would be a new thread.

--5.182.xxx.xx




Missing Tenant (by Sir Walter [NC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2024 4:44 AM
Message:

WMH,

It seems like the the home is being cared for responsibly, other than you having this aha moment.

Looking at this from the other side (pretending I'm 6x6)

- if months go by and she has apparently moved, why do you assume she still has the same phone number?

- even if she had the same phone number, why do you assume you are still in her contacts (e.g. lost phone and could not port contacts, regularly cleans out old contacts). Do you specifically identify yourself when you text or leave a VM and state the purpose of the call/text? So many people don't do that nowadays.

- If you are a landlord who blocks numbers of past tenants, why would you assume that you yourself are not blocked, even if accidentally.

- Did you gather alternate contact information during the application and tenancy? (email, work phone, emergency contacts, Facebook messenger, a co-worker that you could get a message to for non-collections matters, e.g. "I have money that may belong to so-and-so. Can you ask them to contact me?) This may take less energy than what you are feeling towards her now.

- if he says she isn't responding to him anymore but is living in the home, has anyone (including him) bothered to check that she is still alive and breathing (and not buried in Long Island or being held captive in a backyard shed or been kidnapped by a cartel or other Lifetime movie plot)?

- Your lease needs updating to spell out how the security deposit will be handled when someone is added to the lease.

--5.182.xxx.xx




Missing Tenant (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2024 6:08 AM
Message:

Interesting. Maybe you should do some creative bookkeeping to transfer the security deposit into his name. Seems it was left as a benefit to him --172.59.xx.xx




Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2024 9:02 AM
Message:

Sir James, I've never had a tenant just disappear and leave their deposit, fwiw. So never had anything to turn over to the state. Any tenant who left in the night way back in the day owed well more than their deposit!

And she has not told me she's out - last contact was about the glitch in paying rent and she said her BF would be taking care of it as she was out of town on a travel nurse contract - no mention of having moved out.

I have emergency contact for her but at this point I guess I don't care. I would have rented to him had he applied normally, so at least she chose BFs wisely. --146.70.xxx.xx




Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2024 9:04 AM
Message:

Oh and as to blocking contacts: no way. I keep all old tenants categorized in my contact list: a YES list (I would rent again) and NO list (never in a million years) but I don't ever block them.

I can see her on FB but she hasn't posted since 2013, so not an active user. And she is on Linked In but ditto. So I have no idea where she is or what she is doing. --146.70.xxx.xx




Missing Tenant (by Sir Walter [NC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2024 9:45 AM
Message:

She's a unicorn. Or an alien. :-) --181.214.xxx.xxx




Missing Tenant (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2024 9:55 AM
Message:

The facts as I understand them:

1) You still have an active lease with a tenant, because the new lease that would have replaced it was never signed. No one -- not you, not her -- have been released from anything.

2) Rent is being paid by someone. Her or the boyfriend. Don't know...don't care.

3) There are no violations of the lease, other than possibly boyfriend not officially being on the lease and thus the Guest policy might kick in. Silence from her is not a violation. We've talked about it here before: communication is good, but it's not a Constitutionally guaranteed right. Once the lease is signed, neither party is obligated to communicate with the other ever again, forever, until eternity passes. All you're both obligated to do is follow the lease until it expires. That requires zero communication. If she moves out on the last day and never violates the lease, she has fully complied with all terms and conditions.

4) Boyfriend is still living there.

Conclusion: you still have her on the lease and rent is paid. Wait until payment stops, then evict. Yes, I know she's gone. So what? She is not obliged to live there. She is only obliged to pay for the right to live there. Eviction isn't just the process of kicking someone out. It's the process of legally terminating the contract so you can move on. I know tenants play fast and loose with this all the time, thinking if they just move out it's all over. Nope. We have to stick to the lease and the law.

Final thought: I would do nothing and keep cashing in on the rent. No deposit refunds. There is still an active lease in place and possession hasn't been returned.

--206.169.xx.xxx




Missing Tenant (by ken [NY]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2024 9:55 AM
Message:

I would consider her still a resident --74.77.xx.xx




Missing Tenant (by RB [TN]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2024 11:04 AM
Message:

Now, about that dog ? --69.130.xxx.xxx




Missing Tenant (by wmh [NC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2024 12:07 PM
Message:

Sid, HE signed the lease electronically via Docusign. It then went to her where it stopped. WE never noticed because Buildium shows it as renewed once the lease is sent. Had we sent it to her first instead of him, we might have noticed sooner? Because it would have shown up as not signed at all? Not sure. I have addressed this with Buildium for just this reason. No good answer yet. It's been entered as an enhancement that a lease not show up as RENEWED until all parties are signed and the lease is fully executed. Seems like a DUH! feature, but apparently not.

As to Communication, it IS required by my lease and not responding to direct requests from the Landlord is considered a non-monetary breach of lease. Would a judge uphold that? Who knows?

But anyway, he's on the lease, the dog is on the lease, the lease is half-signed (if anything, HE is at risk because *I* never signed it either) and he is paying the increase rent, and fully paid the increased deposit.

She gone.

Hopefully, not dead. --146.70.xxx.xx




Missing Tenant (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2024 5:47 PM
Message:

Sid, do you not expect and want communication from a tenant if you ask them something? --76.129.xxx.xx




Missing Tenant (by Tarheel T [NC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2024 6:25 PM
Message:

WMH, We are both in NC. So if a tenant leaves without providing a fwrding address, what i have always done is send the sec dep accounting along with a check(if thats the case) to the address they had rented. If they expect a check they will usually change address with post office so that it goes to their new address. If not it sits in mailbox at old address and i retrieve it after a couple weeks. So are you saying i do not need even to mail a sec dep accounting (and check if that is the case)within 30 days of lease ending if they did not provide me a fwrding address? And keep deposit after 6 months? Thanks TT --75.131.xxx.xxx




Missing Tenant (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2024 7:32 PM
Message:

I'm not a lawyer but this is what the law says:

§ 4252. Landlord's obligations.

Upon termination of the tenancy, money held by the landlord as security may be applied as permitted in G.S. 4251 or, if not so applied, shall be refunded to the tenant. In either case the landlord in writing shall itemize any damage and mail or deliver same to the tenant, together with the balance of the security deposit, no later than 30 days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession of the premises to the landlord. If the extent of the landlord's claim against the security deposit cannot be determined within 30 days, the landlord shall provide the tenant with an interim accounting no later than 30 days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession of the premises to the landlord and shall provide a final accounting within 60 days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession of the premises to the landlord. If the tenant's address is unknown the landlord shall apply the deposit as permitted in G.S. 4251 after a period of 30 days and the landlord shall hold the balance of the deposit for collection by the tenant for at least six months. The landlord may not withhold as damages part of the security deposit for conditions that are due to normal wear and tear nor may the landlord retain an amount from the security deposit which exceeds his actual damages. (1977, c. 914, s.

1; 2009279, s. 5.)

------------------------------------- --146.70.xxx.xx




Missing Tenant (by Sir Walter [NC]) Posted on: Jun 8, 2024 6:09 AM
Message:

I, too, am not a lawyer.

I attempted to link the article named above: ht tps: //bulletins.ncrec.gov/unclaimed-property-nc-law-requires-annual-records-review-and-reporting/.

The article is by a lawyer. The Unclaimed Property Act (Chapter 116B, Article 4 of the North Carolina General Statutes) also applies. It explicitly defines both security deposits and refunds as property for the definition of this law. The law is too long to copy here. The dormancy period before you are required to report an unclaimed security deposit or refund seems to be longer than the 6 months identified in the Landlord Tenant Act. You have to report unclaimed funds annually after the dormancy period. The dormancy period may be as long as 5 years. The funds must be held in your trust account until returned to the person owed or turned over to the state.

Interestingly, the web page ht tps:// unclaimed.org/what-is-unclaimed-property/ has an example of an apartment security deposit in Tennessee as being unclaimed property. Scroll halfway down. The website is run by an organization of state government administrators from all 50 states.

Many/most/all states seem to have similar laws, based upon this association's membership. A small landlord is less likely to have an unclaimed SD than a larger firm, but you should be aware just in case.

--181.214.xx.xxx




Missing Tenant (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Jun 8, 2024 6:31 AM
Message:

Her question "are you sending me the deposit?" Doesn't mean or supersede you removing her from the lease?. You did or did not remove her from the lease? Her words mean nothing. Your actions? --172.59.xx.xx




Missing Tenant (by Tarheel T [NC]) Posted on: Jun 8, 2024 6:36 AM
Message:

WMH, thank you. --75.131.xxx.xxx




Missing Tenant (by Sir Walter [NC]) Posted on: Jun 8, 2024 8:01 AM
Message:

Fellow Tarheel,

Short and to the point if you have any security deposits to return:

1. You don't own it and, by law, never will.

2. You have to return it, always.

3. See post above for how to legally return it, always.

--5.182.xxx.xxx




Missing Tenant (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2024 12:47 AM
Message:

W,

My state requires we provide written accounting if a deposit is transferred such as when selling an occupied property. The res must be notified by certified mail as to who now holds their deposit.

AND in basic law, the first person to document an action usually holds the upper hand.

SO I would send her and him at last known address, written notice that her deposit has been transferred to her BF as the remaining occupant.

Maybe that helps.

BRAD --73.103.xxx.xxx



Click Here to send this discussion to a friend
Report discussion to Webmaster


Reply:
Subject: RE: Missing Tenant
Your Name:
Your State:

Message:
Missing Tenant
Would you like to be notified via email when somebody replies to this thread?
If so, you must include your valid email address here. Do not add your address more than once per thread/subject. By entering your email address here, you agree to receive notification from Mrlandlord.com every time anyone replies to "this" thread. You will receive response notifications for up to one week following the original post. Your email address will not be visible to readers.
Email Address: