In most cases, the security deposit you collect will cover any damages or money owed after a tenant moves out. However, if the tenant owes more than what was paid in a security deposit, you’ll need to know how to collect from that tenant who has already left.
Proactive Application Process
The most important thing you can do to improve your possibility of collecting money owed from the tenant is by being thorough up front, during the application process. That means making sure you collect as much personal data as possible on all residents who are 18 years of age or older. You want to have date of birth information, social security numbers, current bank information and pay stubs from current employers. All these items will help you later if you need to pursue a balance due. I am always candid with my applicants who ask why this information is necessary.
Collecting with a Judgment
After a tenant moves out, the process you follow will depend on whether there is a judgment in place. If you had to evict a tenant and you received a judgment during that process, you don’t need to go back to court. In the state of Georgia, that eviction judgment is now enough to file directly for a garnishment. You can garnish the tenant’s wages if you have their current employment information. File with the magistrate court of where the company is located, not where the tenant is located. In the state of Georgia, you are no longer allowed to garnish a bank account. That’s a new ruling, so we’ll see if it changes.
Collecting without a Judgment
If you don’t have a judgment, you will need to sue in court for the money that is owed to you. The first steps are to send multiple letters to the tenant. We recommend sending them via registered mail as well as regular mail. Let them know how much is owed and see if they challenge the amount. We typically send six letters, and then move forward to sue in How to Collect from a Tenant that Has Left a Balance Due – Roswell Property Managementcourt. Make sure you bring all your correspondence, even if it was returned to you, so you can demonstrate you made a diligent attempt to collect your debt.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at DKRentals.net if you have any questions or need help collecting money that a tenant owes you.