I have a tenant who signed lease 15 Dec and check was returned. I have given tenant time to correct problem. I had spoken with her several times and about moving out. 3 weeks later i attempted to serve her 5 day notice but she was not home I contacted her by phone and she state she didn't know what to do so she left all her property behind, but she placed the keys in the mailbox. The problem is that she can say that she cannot access the property because I have the keys. but she probably had an extra key made.
First you never accept check.Ask for cash for first month, last month and security deposit.You save headaches by doing this.
Screen each applicant very cafefully. Make sure he or she has an income of 3 times monthly rent;otherwise do not rent to that applicant.If you do this , you know tenant will have money to pay rent. Run credit report to see if the applicant is a good payer and does not have too many charges and other bill pending. This is the best way to do business. If tenant move out change the lock and save any documentation you served to tenant just in case of reclamation. We learn by making mistake but do not do it again.