Help locating/suing tenant due to abandon of Property/lack of rent Payment

Hello All -

I have a problem that i need advice on. I had a tenant that owed me back rent for 3 months, and i was in the process of eviction, to find out that the tenant moved out of my house, and left the house in a total mess, and she is no where to be found. This is my first real estate investment, and the total rent owed is over $4000. I need some advice in how i should proceed with this situation.
The property is in Atlanta georgia, and i have the work info, SSN,bank info, copy of drivers licence of this tenant. My fear is that she might have moved out of state because her neighbors hinted that might be the case.

I need advice as to how to find this lady and recover some or all of my rent from her.
Any advice would be welcome

This is VERY tough. You’ve really got two issues. First you must find this person and second, you must COLLECT. Both are difficult.

What you’ve described is VERY common with rental properties. Almost without exception, a tenant that rips you off for the rent will not provide a forwarding address. Also, in my experience, at least half of the tenants will leave a bunch of trash and stuff when they leave.

Here’s how I handle things:

  1. Screen your tenants - don’t take anyone with a history of eviction
  2. Always get the first month’s rent and security deposit IN FULL prior to the tenant moving in.
  3. Immediately evict the tenant when the rent is late. I start the eviction process the day after the rent is due.
  4. Be sure to get their employment information on their application. You can garnish their wages if needed. Unfortunately, most of the time they have been fired if they don’t pay rent.

Good Luck,


its been a awhile since I’ve been to small claims court, but I seem to recall that if you serve them at their last know address (even if its the property address) that woudl be sufficent.

your proper jurisdiction for the case is the county the property is located

in most states $4000 can be handle in small claims, no laywer needed, very cheap to do.

if and when you get a judgement, you can turn it over the a collection agency since its a sizeable amt. They will want 30-40% of all monies collected, but you might get some dollars that way.

Good luck.