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We have a tenant of 12 years that has lost his job and has informed us via text that he will be moving by the end of the month.  We sent him a 24 hour notice that we wanted to inspect the premises.  When we showed up no one was home and the locks had been changed.  We did go through the side gate to view the back yard and garage and it is a MESS.  We have made 2 more attempts to get together/talk to him but he has made no attempt to call us back or meet with us.  What do you think we should do next?

If damages were done to the property, keep the security deposit. Other than that, you are sort of lucky they left the property and you can get new tenants in that can pay. Make sure to read thoroughly through your lease agreement. I hope this helps. Good luck!
Hi Ronald & Daryl, First of all, in most states, it is illegal for the tenant to change the locks. (Check with a lawyer on this.) A couple of options that a lawyer will probably tell you:  1. Eviction (note: evictions can take a month+, so you may chose not to go that route) You should deliver a x day notice to perform covenants or quit (x depends on your state). If the locks are not changed back within those x days, then you can start the eviction process and get the tenant out before the end of the month.    2. Wait until the end of the month If you don't want to go through the eviction process, then you can just wait until the end of the month and hope the tenant has moved out of the property. You should still have written notice from the tenant that he plans to vacate, otherwise you may be entering the property without giving proper notice if you just appear the day of the following month.  It's typically not a good idea to enter the property without the proper notice and/or breaking the locks to get in (even if the tenant has illegally changed them).  Within the past 12 years, have you performed your annual inspections? It is always a good idea to do so. Also, I hope you have a security deposit to hold, although after 12 years ... the unit is probably ready for a major upgrade (budget accordingly).  If you need any legal help or advice, the lawyers and services through Hemlane ( can help you.   Good luck! Dana
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