Collect rent from evicted/disappeared tenant

Tenant owes me $1500 . He was evicted. I don’t have his current address. what are my options to collect money .

Thanks for your time and suggestions

Unless he has a good job that he has had for a long time, you’re choices are ZERO! You can take him to court if you can find him. You will win a judgment. You will NOT collect.

Move on!


Your state laws concerning landlord/tenant will greatly determine what you can, and cannot do, concerning collecting past rent.

That said, it will be far easier on you to simply move on, as Mike suggested, and less expensive (no need to throw good money after bad).


Use the security deposit to reduce the balance owed. If there is a remainder, you can turn it over to a debt collection agency and split whatever they are able to collect. A judgment is not needed for a debt collection agency to collect a debt.

You need a judgment before you can garnish wages, levy bank accounts, seize property, and/or attach a lien to any real estate your former tenant may own.

Here’s one idea - that I’ve never seen anyone recommend. It’s not perfect, but it will make your life a lot easier. I will do this the first time I get a judgement against a tenant, or have a tenant that does not pay!

I have a relative that does this with their bad B2C (business to consumer) debt — it has great results.

Call up a few collection agencies, and find one that will take your old debt & collect on it. They will get a sizeable percentage, ranging from 10 to 50% of the debt, but at least that person will (a) have a mark on their credit file for the next 7 years AND (b) the credit agency will make an effort to keep track of their current address/phone number/etc no matter what state they move to…and no work will be required on your part. They will probably NEVER be able to buy a house at a non sub-prime interest rate, get a good interest rate on a car, etc unless they pay you off.

Your remedies are state specific. In Texas for example there is no garnishment of wages (except for taxes and child support). I always get the judgment when I do the eviction, but I don’t expect to collect. It is a cost of doing business. The key is screen before you rent to them to reduce the likelihood of getting a bad tenant. If he is bad and for some reason you really want to take him anyway, get double deposit to defray the cost of carrying the house when he stops paying.

I really like motivatedceo’s suggestion. I always report move ins and move outs on National Tenant Network for the next guy. Good move outs or bad move outs, I report them all.