What if your tenant goes absconding?

Having the tenant put down a security deposit is not a new condition as seen in rental agreements. However, news of tenants finding novel ways to hoodwink trusting landlords out of a month or a few months’ worth of rent is also not unheard of! The real estate sector comes with its own set of micro-challenges that remain even if you are the rightful owner of your property. This requires that all landlords perform due diligence to these fail-safes in the event they are faced with the issue of an absconding tenant. Here is a ready reckoner.

Know Thy Tenant

  • First and foremost, get a police verification done for your tenants as soon as you sign a lease. Many people feel that police verification is only for domestic help but it mandatory in many societies to get tenant’s police verification done too.
  • Ensure your tenant provides a few verified emergency numbers to their next of kin or any local guardian. It pays to know the tenant’s family, relatives, colleagues and/or friends personally so you are aware of where they might run to first. Office contacts work unless they quit work before skipping rent!
  • Ensure your tenant provides a few verified emergency numbers to their next of kin or any local guardian. It pays to know the tenants family, relatives, colleagues and/or friends personally so you are aware of where they might run to first. Office contacts work unless they quit work before skipping rent!

Know Thy Property

  • Ensure that you hold the credentials to all civic amenities and registered utilities. Upon calling the service offices and verifying credentials, they let you know if the meter readings are incrementing.
  • If your rental property is not at the same address as your current residence, ensure you know the neighbours around your rented property. They can be contacted for information if they are requested to keep tabs on the tenant.
  • Keep duplicate keys of the property, in case if the tenant is absconding, or not responding to calls. If you need to break the locks, do it before police and other eyewitnesses. 

Involve The Court

  • Ensure that professionalized legal assistance is also sought so that the pressure is on the tenant. The landlord can file a suit of eviction against the tenant for non-payment of rent and abandonment of property without proper, prior notice as per the terms and conditions agreed upon in the rent agreement.
  • The tenant is bound to face the music if the court tries to summon them for a hearing in the case and they are non-responsive to the law as well! Avoidance towards the court itself would rule such a case in the landlord’s favor.
  • In certain cases, it is common for the tenant to abscond with the belongings, which shows a premeditated plan to skip the rent. In those exigent cases, it is more prudent to seek assistance of the court of law directly while conducting personal searches.
  • In the exceptional cases where the tenant is not absconding with their possessions, landlords often are known to move on the tenant’s possessions in retaliation. While this feels tempting as a form of karmic justice, this leaves the landlord open to a counter-lawsuit filed by the tenant for the unlawful apprehension of their property.

It is justified that the landlord might feel that the possessions should compensate for the non-submission of rent. However, in such an instance, it is advised that the landlord makes a move by having the action approved by the court. Once the court approves for the landlord to take possession of the absconding tenant’s properties as compensation, not only can the same be sold for reparations but the property also gets freed up to be put out in the market.

Author Bio :

Girish Bindal
Girish Bindal

Girish Bindal is the Head of Content at PropTiger.com, Makaan.com. He draws from more than a decade of cross-industry experience and has worked for brands in the Real Estate, Recruitment and Consulting domain. In his current capacity, Girish is known to gel the news, numbers and opinion to drive the content consumption. With an analyst’s approach and a sharp focus on numbers, Girish has been organically progressing the brand to build a growing base of audience. An audience who are interested to buy property.

One Reply to “What if your tenant goes absconding?”

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