As a private landlord, you might not have encountered the stressful situation of your tenant vanishing without having paid their rent. However, it does happen from time to time, especially if the original background checks were not thorough enough. And when it happens, dealing with it is a challenging task.
When tenants are behind in paying their rent and believe there is no way out, they usually vanish. If the tenant has lost their job or owes money to others, tracing them may not even be able to help you reclaim your losses.
Alternatively, you may discover that they are merely untrustworthy tenants with whom you will grow to regret ever letting your house.
Landlords were not allowed to evict tenants during Covid-19, even if they owed rent. That sanction has now been lifted, and we’ve received several calls to our tenant tracking service since then, indicating that some landlords are dealing with outstanding debts.
Finding a tenant who owes money
If your tenant has vanished, what should you do? What method do you use to locate them? Is it even worth trying to find them?
To start, figure out how much money you are owed and whether the property has been damaged. You may need to consider taking legal action against the renter in a small claims court if there are significant repairs to be made as well as debt to be recovered.
You may also need to consider how much of the tenant’s deposit you hold on their behalf.
It can be pricey to hire a solicitor to assist you in locating your rogue tenant. As a result, many landlords do their own searches, and tenants can sometimes be located via social media platforms such as Facebook or other online platforms.
However, hiring the services of a professional debtor tracing agent like Vilcol is by far the most effective way to locate a tenant. Tenant tracking companies require a fee, but they can be trusted to do the job.
It’s critical to double-check that the debtor tracing firm you’re working with has the proper credentials. When it comes to debt collection, the last thing you want to do is hire an untrustworthy tenant and debt collection agency.
If you’re not sure who to hire, look at their website’s references and testimonials. This should include a list of verifiable prior clients as well as consumer feedback that will give you an indication of the tenant tracing agency’s professionalism.
How do agencies find rogue tenants?
Professional tenant tracing, persons tracing, and debt tracing firms use methods not widely available to the general public, such as specialised software programmes.
When landlords contact us, we ask for as much information as possible in order to locate a renter who owes them money. The more information the better, as this greatly aids in speeding up the service and in locating that missing tenant.
Tracing those who have gone missing can take a long time, but if we have enough information, it can be completed quickly. When conducting their investigations, detectives are usually meticulous and careful not to raise suspicions.
Whatever happens, it is always best to try to communicate with tenants before the debt spirals out of control. Try to work out a payment plan if tenants fall behind on their rental payments. Be helpful, rather than threatening.
If the tenant does leave without payment, then you need to decide whether the amount owed is worth chasing. Legal fees are always expensive but a debtor tracing agent can often be the best solution.