I'll try and keep this succinct. It's an interesting one. FYI, I'm in CA.
5 tenants in the unit on a joint and several lease. Around 12/11, they start fueding, etc., one tenant is discovered keeping all the PG&E money for herself, etc. She moves out In January. We immediately start seeking a replacement. She puts an unauthorized lock on her room. We're unable to show it. By the time she gets it off of there, perspective replacement tenants are gone. She gives official notice at end of January that she moved out. Leaves room a mess. We continue to advertise. She doesn't pay February. I make a deal with the remaining tenants to accept temporary partial rent (per NOLO CA law book). Moved out tenant gives a check 3/1/12. Doesn't pay April. They're now 2 months behind. She does not respond to any communication methods. Lives locally. I send certified letters, etc.
We now have a potential replacement who needs a place to stay for the 6 weeks that remain on the lease. Moved out tenant doesn't respond to any communication attempts. So, can't get her to sign release of security deposit.
So, what do I do? I'm going to have the remaining tenants pay her back rent and they can deal with her. I was trying to be accommodating (remaining tenants are very good), but I think all those debts should be cleared before the new person signs out. But, what to do about her non-response?
I have a call into a couple of attorneys, but thought I'd post here and see what folks had to say. Thanks.