Unfortunately, some tenants may simply disappear into the night. But as a landlord, you simply canât assume that theyâve left and abandoned the property. Before changing the locks and preparing for a new tenant, you will need to meet some legal requirements, which is where an Orange County eviction attorney can help.
When is the Property Abandoned?
Generally, if rent is overdue by 14 or more days and the landlord has good reason to believe the tenant has vacated the property, the property may be considered abandoned. In these cases, the landlord should send the tenant a notice regarding the abandonment.
An Orange County eviction attorney can help you complete the notice, but it generally must include:
- Name of the tenant
- Address of the property
- A clear statement that this is a notice regarding abandonment
- A date that the landlord is ending the rental agreement
The date for ending the rental agreement must be a certain number of days after you serve the notice on the defendant â typically between 15 and 18 days, depending upon how you serve the notice. During this time, the tenant can respond that he has not abandoned the property and may have an opportunity to pay any back rent.
What Happens if the Tenant Never Responds?
If the tenant does not respond by the date in the notice, you may be able to consider the property abandoned. Generally, you can empty the rental unit out and find another tenant. But before taking these steps, you may want to consult an Orange County eviction attorney to make sure that all the proper steps were followed. If not, you could expose yourself to liability for wrongful eviction.
Contact an Orange County Eviction Attorney
If you believe that a tenant has abandoned a property, you should contact an Orange County eviction attorney immediately to make sure you take the proper steps to determine abandonment. If you evict too early, you violate the tenantâs rights and subject yourself to a lawsuit. Contact Schiff & Shelton, Attorneys at Law, at (949) 417-2211 if you have any questions.