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Fire & Evacuation return
on December 11, 2018 @14:00
I lost a duplex in the N California fires a month ago. I returned Nov, rent & the deposit & wish I could do more. The tenants were grateful.
The other rental I have didn't burn, but the tenant was evacuated on Nov8th & the evacuation was sifted on Dec 1st. She texted me on Nov 12 that she is not interested in returning, but never gave notice or any dates. I asked her to give me a date that I could work with. She still hasn't done that.
Evacuation was lifted on Dec 1st, but she still hasn't returned. She says she has legal representation & I owe rent & deposit back to her. She says that FEMA has to escort her back to the property & that they are very busy & don't have a date.
She says that I have to return rent, deposit, propane, & electric according to her attorney.
I don't know if there are special rules because this is a disaster, but can't get answers & tried to get advise through the agency that she is using & they wouldn't talk to me because i was a landlord.
The property was not posted by FEMA & My insurance adjuster has given the house clearance.
I'm afraid if i give her the money before she commits to moving out that she will take forever to move & leave the house a mess.
I'd like to hear what all you experienced landlords would advise.
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Re: Fire & Evacuation return
on December 11, 2018 @23:05
[ Reply ]
I went thru something similar to this 10 years ago, only it was floods instead of fires. Instead of trying to fight the tenant, you should return everything the T wants, except the 1 weeks worth of rent (Nov. 1-7) because the T was still living there under normal conditions. Call the T up, and tell them you will hand-deliver it to them, at the property, on whatever day BOTH of you can meet there at the same time. BUT----- they MUST have ALL there possessions OUT of the property when you meet, AND they need to give you the keys back. No property out and no keys back, means NO return of any money till that happens. If need be, start formal eviction procedures for nonpayment of rent, for either December, or January, to force their hand.
Once you have them out, change the locks, clean and fix up the place , and get it ready for new renters again. And don't worry about finding new renters. They will be coming from "out of the woodwork" to rent your place. In fact, you could probably get 25% more rent now, over what your old Ts were paying. That's because with thousands of homes burned to the ground in your area, there will be a HUGE demand for ANY rental within 50 miles of where people were originally living before the fires took THEIR homes. And remember, in the next 5 years, there will be thousands of people coming from all over the country, to REBUILD all those homes. And they have to stay SOMEWHERE relatively close (50 miles/1 hours drive) of where all the building will be going on. This is the laws of supply and demand TOTALLY working in your favor.
By the way, sorry to here that you lost a duplex in those fires. Hopefully it was insured. I lost 5 housed in a MASSIVE flood in my city in 2008. All of them were insured for fires or tornadoes, but only 1 had flood insurance on it. Between the 4 other properties, I lost about $100,000 in equity, and about another $50,000 actual cash, as I sold them to other investors at vert cheap prices, just to get rid of the. Good luck on what you decide to do next.
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