Tenant stole and disappeared
My girlfriend and I rent a 2-bedroom apartment and sublease the 2nd bedroom to her friend (OK with property manager).
She was on parole, we thought we’d give her a break. She stole my personal information and shared it with her friends and family and attempted to commit credit card fraud; luckily it failed.
She tookoff Friday and the fraud attempt happened Sunday night. Last spoke with her Monday when she begged me not to file the police report, but I did anyway.
She has not come home and does not return our phone calls. We suspect that she fled to Idaho with a plane ticket purchased illegally with an ex-boyfriends credit card.
I’ve given her a 3-Day Notice To Quit for Maintaining A Nuisance and left her a voice mail informing her (otherwise she wouldn’t know), but she has yet to acknowledge the notice.
We’ve contacted her parole officer and its likely she’ll be violated and sent back to prison.
What can I do? I need the income from that room, but it’s full of her things.
Her family can’t be trusted because some may have been involved in the fraud attempt, so I won’t contact them.
When are her belongings considered abandoned? Then what do I do with them? Goodwill?
Re: Tenant stole and disappeared
Here are a few suggestions; I do not hold them out as a comprehensive solution to your problem:
1. Work closely with the landlord.
2. Consider your own safety, and whether a restraining order might be needed.
3. Get access to the Civil Code and Code of Civil Procedure, either on line or at a library, and review the following–
(a) CCP sections 1159 defining forcible entry and 1160 re forcible detainer;
(b) CivC section 1951.3 re retaking possession of apparently abandoned premises, including forms to use;
(c) CCP 1161 re grounds for unlawful detainer actions; and last but not least,
(d) CivC sections 1980-1991 dealing with disposal of tenant property left on premises.
4. You might also get a self-help law book on tenant’s rights or how to be a landlord. Certain chapters would give you clues on what you can and cannot do, and if you have to go through an unlawful detainer action, how to do that.
Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
P O Box 318
Tomales, CA 94971-0318