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Property Management Blog

When a Tenant Skips Town

What is a Landlord to do when the rent has not been paid, and the tenant has appeared to have abandoned the property?

Even the best of background checks cannot predict tenants who will skip town and leave the property abandoned. Ideally, this is a situation you will not have to encounter. But just in case- here are a few ways to deal with this unique situation.


The traditional course of action in this situation would be to file an eviction. This can, unfortunately, be a timely and costly process, especially if you know the tenants are not present in the home. Ultimately, you are trying to prove to the court that you deserve rightful possession of the property.

The Abandonment Method

With this method, we seek to establish an understanding that the tenant is no longer residing in the home. This can be done a number of ways. One way is through an inspection of the property. This inspection is used as a baseline and compared to another inspection completed at a later date to determine if there has been any changes or clues that a tenant may still be residing at the property.

Once you determine that the tenant is no longer at the property, it is wise to call the utility companies to see if the services have been switched off. Another method to check if someone is residing in the home is to tape the door and create a seal. If this seal has been broken, it is a good indicator that someone is still living in the home.

Newspapers laying on the driveway or front porch is another hint that the tenants may have skipped town. Still unsure? Asking neighbors is another way to dig for information.

Abandonment is established when there have been fifteen days of consecutive non-occupancy. Be mindful that you must provide solid evidence to back up these claims, as you may have to present your findings in court. This is a serious event and is often a wise decision for those who are hoping to regain possession of their property quickly.

Are you dealing with an abandoned property in Manatee or Sarasota Counties? Have other questions? Please call our office anytime to discuss. (941) 782-1559.

Hungry for more? Check out the two blogs below or visit our Owner Resource Center here to find answers to all of your questions. Or give us a call at (941) 782-1559, we'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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