Need a little help on this one. - Posted by Mark-NC

Posted by Nate on March 10, 2001 at 19:29:19:

That’s a good point - never even thought of that.

I wonder, though. If she has not been paying the water and electric long enough for those to be shut off (around here, that’s 3 months minimum), but has been paying rent up until 1 month ago…???

That would be really weird.


Need a little help on this one. - Posted by Mark-NC

Posted by Mark-NC on March 10, 2001 at 08:52:12:

OK, here’s the deal. I ran into an investor that is going to deed me some of his properties. 4 Single family homes, 3 rentals and a junker.

My problem is one of the rentals has a tenant in it that is no where to be found. All of her stuff is in there and from what neighbors say that havent seen her in some time. She hasen’t paid last months rent. The electric and water has been turned off due to non payment. I have no idea where she is or how to get ahold of her. What do I do with her stuff?

When I first looked at the house we went inside and she had a pet bird she let die, It’s still sitting in the cage two weeks later. She also left a real nice dog in the back yard tied up on a 6 foot chain. I also saw no eveidence of the dog being fed He was really skinny when I first saw the house.

It really bothered me seeing somebody do this to an animal. So although The house wasen’t deeded to me yet I have been going over there the last couple weeks feeding this dog just so it wouldn’t die. So my other question is What right do I have with this dog. Being particular to animals I do not want to have it destroyed, I will find it a home. I would keep it myself but it’s a zoo here allready. So I am wondering what kind of trouble am I going to get into if I took this dog?


Re: Need a little help on this one. - Posted by jdjewell

Posted by jdjewell on March 12, 2001 at 12:47:10:

I personally know a friend of a friend who was stopped on a minor traffic violation. When they ran his plate, turned out he had an arrest warrant from 10 years ago for not showing up in court. He was jailed for 45 days… (Got to love the justice system they are so fair, NOT). He had an apartment, that he was evicted from for non-payment and his cat died from starvation. This type of thing happens to a lot of people from what I understand.

Re: Need a little help on this one. - Posted by TJ

Posted by TJ on March 11, 2001 at 18:11:24:

I recently faced exactly the same situation. A Lady just disappeared and left all of her stuff, and not junk either. In my state of CA there is a procedure laid out for this. It is rather cumbersome but will protect you if she returns and says “Where’s my stuff.” We had to send a notice of apparent abandonment, wait so many days, remove the stuff to a storage facility, mail notice of this and wait another so many days. Next, we were required to post legal notices in a newspaper two weeks in a row. Last, we had to hire professional auctioneer to sell off her stuff. Only one person showed up to the auction and bought it all for about one tenth of the value. We didn’t even make up our costs. THEN - you guessed it - the lady just shows up one day months later and wants to sue us in small claims court for taking her stuff. Fortunately, we followed all correct procedures and we’re fine. But its just another example of how the landlord always gets scr**ed.

Consult an eviction attorney to do it right.

Could be a crime scene! - Posted by Harley-CA

Posted by Harley-CA on March 10, 2001 at 15:13:47:


You may want to track down family members of this person. If you cannot reach family members I’d report this one to the local police or sherriff’s office. This could be an abduction or a murder. In any event, the circumstances don’t ring right to me. Check to see if this person paid regularly on rents up to a month ago. If so, there’s no reason for them to just dissappear into thin air unless something happened to them. This could be very serious and should be looked into by the authorities. You could help save someone’s life here so be smart.


Save the dog, junk the tenant - Posted by BillW

Posted by BillW on March 10, 2001 at 12:40:46:

Dog, what dog??
Save the dog right away. Follow the rules and terminate the tenant. Anyone who would leave a dog to starve to death is no one you want for a tenant anyway.

Re: Need a little help on this one. - Posted by AnnNC

Posted by AnnNC on March 10, 2001 at 11:07:46:

Is this a crime scene? Is the tenant a missing person?
Sounds possible. Perhaps she did not intend to let the bird die.
Email me and I can give you a list of rescue organizations; if you know the breed, I also have a list of
breed rescue org. in old copy of ZNN, which I got at
library and at my vet.Maybe your’s has them too.
I would think that womeone in thises organizations would have some familiarty with the law, esp. local
There are some no-kill shelters (one near Chapel Hill) listed, with phone numbers, some with email, some with websites; otherwise, I have some links I think.
If there is not a shelter closer, I’ll transport to chapel hill (Mebane) for you. ( I think I am between you and Mebane) I’m thinking that these shelters would provide a temporary home, knowing the circumstances. They adopt out the animals (advertising in ZNN).
I’d check with the law; you could put her stuff in storage. If you stop paying, it would be auctioned off, and her personal stuff, like checkbooks, mail, etc. would go to a stranger, anyway, so you could find out if there is info in that re family.But at that point, the stuff is really abandoned, not necessarily by a third party, so I don’t really know your rights, either, but possibly a return address on an envelope that just happened to be in view might help.
The post office may not tell you a fwd address but might tell you IF there was a fwd address.

I’d collect the dog before contacting any law or city/county authorities, just to be safe.
Reminds me of a former thread where the owner was in a coma.
Let me know. Ann

Re: Need a little help on this one. - Posted by B.L.Renfrow

Posted by B.L.Renfrow on March 10, 2001 at 10:20:39:

Hi Mark,

Regarding the dog, around here the SPCA staff has “peace officer” status which enables them to go onto private property and seize any animals which appear abandoned and/or endangered, regardless of whether the property is occupied or not. I know this because my attorney’s ex-wife is the SPCA executive director, and I’ve heard many stories of them doing exactly that. Perhaps there’s a similar process in your jurisdiction?

If the SPCA or law enforcement can’t or won’t help, or if the local shelter moves quickly to euthanize unwanted animals, I’d probably take the dog myself, right or wrong, and try to find it a home. Can’t imagine you’d get in too much trouble. “Dog, what dog? I never saw any dog.”


Re: Need a little help on this one. - Posted by Nate

Posted by Nate on March 10, 2001 at 09:30:35:

I think nonpayment of rent and utility bills, and leaving dead animals around, could probably be considered evidence of intent to abandon the property. Depending on what his lease says, and what the local laws say, that might give him (or you if you buy the place from him) the right to terminate the lease and confiscate any and all property on the premises. You should probably ask a local lawyer that handles evictions about the situation. Some jurisdictions would require you to store her stuff for X number of months after which it could be disposed of at auction.

As far as the dog, if you don’t want to call the animal shelter, I’d say find a home for it ASAP and get it somewhere it can be taken care of. If she ever asked you could say you had not seen the dog and it must have gotten loose and run away since it was hungry.

Good luck!