two men carrying a houseLast time, we were talking about how bad things can happen to good people. And one of the consequences can be that making the rent becomes difficult or impossible. In this instance, the best remedy is to talk to your landlord and work out an arrangement. Maybe a deferred payment plan can be worked out. Even if all is lost and you have to move, it’s still better to talk to your landlord, because here’s what going to happen if you don’t:

You could just do the midnight move and be gone. Sometimes people move with little more the clothes on their back and a tooth brush. Everything else is just left behind. There’s a legal term for this, abandonment. Just so you know, in this instance, the landlord may have the right to donate your stuff to charity or just throw it away. There are restrictions on disposing of prescription medicines, but seriously, you didn’t take those with you?

If you’ve bugged out on the landlord owing a bunch of money, chances are, the landlord’s not going to take that lying down. Landlords can be pretty adept at finding people. At Decker Properties, we use a collection law firm and they’re very good at finding people. It’s their job and they do it all day long.

The landlord might file a small claims case against you and because you’ve disappeared, the landlord posts a classified advertisement in one of those legal newspapers that nobody reads and the next thing you know, you have a judgment against you and your credit is spoiled. You won’t be able to get a car loan or a home loan until this judgement is satisfied.

Or maybe it’s even worse than this. You do the “deer in the headlights” move and you just remain in denial – right until the sheriff shows up at your door. To find out what that’s like, check back here next time in Evicted Part 3.