Monday, July 29, 2019

My Renter Midnight Moved? Now what?

In the cover of darkness, my tenants moved out of my Central Minnesota Rental, what are my responsibilities as a landlord?

If you've been a landlord for a few years, and had rental properties for more more than a few cycles of tenants, chances are you've experienced a midnight move.  Typically these tenants are running from something, and they don't tell you they're moving out, they just move out.   We call it midnight-move, but it doesn't have to be in the middle of the night.  Typically as landlords we're not driving by our properties every day, so it's easy to miss someone moving out.   Oftentimes the indication something is wrong is either from the power company calling you to let you know the power has been shut off (or reverted to your name), or a neighbor calls to let you know, or you just don't get rent that month.   It's critical you stay on top of your properties especially when pipes could freeze.  Lots of damage can be done in a short period of time.

What are the responsibilities of the landlord?  It's a good idea to have language in your lease about abandonment so you can get legal-access to the property, otherwise you might have to do an eviction to get access to the propety.  However, this little paragraph would work:
Abandonment: It shall be deemed a reasonable belief by the LANDLORD that an abandonment of the premises has occurred where the, rent has been unpaid for 14  consecutive days and the TENANT has been absent from unit for 24 hours.

So if they're late on rent, and gone for 24 hours, the place is mine. Change the locks and revert the utilities to my name and we can get someone new in there to pay the rent.  Otherwise, you may not have legal access to the property if the occupant is still the rightful occupant (even if they're late on rent).   Everyone deserves their due process. 

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