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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
Looking for any recommendations to locate former tenants in order to serve them for small claims court??!!

We had a lease agreement with tenants for the term 8/1/2006 - 7/31/2008; up until May 2008, payments were on time and no problems with returned checks, etc. Problem began when June's rent was not received by 6/10/08, we called them and they said "the check's in the mail" however, several days later it was not received so we visitied the property to collect and found they had vacated the premesis. (Back door left open, key and garage door opener left on kitchen counter, all belongings removed.)

We immediately sent a registered letter regarding the past due rent, late fees, and official termination of the lease agreement for breech if payment was not received within a specified time; we have also sent out a Damage Deposit Statment outlining the charges for which security deposit was applied and balance owed however, the only address we had to send is that which is on the lease - the rental property! The registered letters have both been returned  undeliverable; no forwarding address on file.(Also, the phone numbers they listed for contact that we had previously communicated with them via, are all disconnected.)

So the big question is, how do we find them so we can serve them for court? (We are talking $7000 in unpaid rent and damages!)


Posts: 3,794
Reply with quote  #2 
A few ideas:

Check zabasearch dot com to see if they have a new address on there. Some of the addresses on there will be relatives of theirs.

Check out all contact numbers on their application.  Sometimes you have to call from an untraceable number like cells or a friend's and tell little white lies.  Need to contact them for a class reunion?  An old BF trying to look up his old GF?  An old friend that needs to inform them of another's passing?

Check out their former employer.  Sometimes a talkative secretary can tell you where they now work or where their last checks were mailed to.

If a smaller area, utility operators can sometimes be fooled into releasing an address.  "I'm the LL trying to get the deposit back to an old tenant.  I have their address as 123 Main Street, right?  Not right?  Huh..."

You can always try to google them.

If you had a clause on their application that says you can perform credit checks at present and in future, you can pull a new credit check and see what it says.  (I put this into fine print just above the signature line.  No one ever reads it.  They just sign giving me the right to do future credit checks.  This can tell you where they are working now, or a new address.

Check municipal, common pleas, and housing court sites.  If they got a traffic ticket, their new address may be listed on there.  You can always request copies of public records like this to get the information even if they aren't on line.

If they are young, check out myspace and facebook for pages they have put on there.

If they have jobs where they must obtain state licensure, you can try the licensing agency.  Everyone from teachers to nurses aide are now licensed.

If they are the type, call the rent to own places.  Tell them that the tenants left some rental furniture/TV in your rental.  Did they rent it from them?

Finally, contact a local LL association and talk to the president.  He could ask the member if one of them have rented to your ex-tenants.  Or he might have other ideas.

Posts: 764
Reply with quote  #3 
What was so much in damages to equal $7000 plus their deposit ?

It sounds like they only shorted you 2 months of rent.

Just curious.


Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #4 

It is difficult to locate a tenant once they move out but has an article with good suggestions on how to locate a former tenant. Hopefully one of the suggestions will work!


Posts: 35
Reply with quote  #5 
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Posts: 58
Reply with quote  #6 

The Rent Rite Directory offers a free Rental History database to Property Managers and Owners that allows members to input as well as search evictions (before they hit public record), tenants who skip out on rent/collections, proxy renters (those who rent on behalf of unauthorized tenants ie: drug dealers, sex offenders, convicted felons), those who commit lease violations, property damage, and on-property crime. Please help share information with other Real Estate Professionals. 

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