Landlords in Houston, Texas make over $90,000 a year. Of course, it can take a while to start bringing that kind of money. You first need tenants who pay their rent on time every month.
The last thing you need is for someone to move out without paying their final bill, but it happens.
Are you unsure how to collect unpaid rent after a tenant moves out? We have a few property management tips to help you get the money you're owed. Continue reading to learn more.
Confirm That the Tenant Moved Out
The first step in overdue rent collection is confirming that the tenant has left. If the tenant's furniture and other belongings are missing, that's a good indicator that they're gone for good.
If the property isn't empty, but the tenant's vehicle has been gone for several weeks, there is a small chance that they're simply on vacation. However, it's equally likely they've chosen to abandon their things. The best thing you can do in this instance is attempt to contact them.
Check the Laws
In most instances, it's okay to take the money you're owed out of the security deposit after evicting a tenant. Some states have a limit on what you can legally do with a resident's security deposit. You'll have to look into your local laws before moving forward.
If you're not allowed to take the money out of the security deposit, there are other steps you can take.
Send a Letter
Send an unpaid rent notice to the tenant's last known address. Be sure to include the amount of money the tenant owes and the due date. You should also make it clear that you intend to take legal action if the resident doesn't pay.
Keep a record showing that the tenant received the letter. You'll need it if the matter goes to court.
File a Claim
If the tenant doesn't respond to the unpaid rent notice letter, file a complaint with the small claims court. After filing the complaint, the court will give you instructions on how to serve papers to the tenant. Depending on the situation, you may have to hand the papers to the tenant in person or mail them via certified mail.
After the tenant responds, you'll receive a date for the hearing. The judge will make a decision based on evidence provided by both you and the tenant.
Hire an Attorney
When it comes to collecting back rent, an attorney can be a powerful asset. They can guide you through the process, and help you with all the complicated paperwork.
Hiring an attorney can be pricey, but depending on the amount of money the tenant owes you, it might be worth it.
How to Collect Unpaid Rent After a Tenant Moves Out Legally
Not sure how to collect unpaid rent after a tenant moves out? As you can see, it can be a complicated process. If the former resident doesn't respond after you send them an unpaid rent notice, you'll have to get the court involved.
Let a property manager take care of your tenant problems. Precision Realty has been helping landlords in Houston, Texas 1989. Contact us to learn more about our services.