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Eviction derailed when tenant goes missing

Owner seeks way to regain possession of rental

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Editor's note: Robert Bruss is temporarily away. The following column from Bruss' "Best of" collection first appeared Sunday, June 18, 2006. DEAR BOB: I gave my tenant the required notice to move, confirmed with a receipt of notice. She agreed to move out. But the unit is now locked, no one is there, and her car is parked in the driveway. I phoned several times, but no reply. What options do I have? I already hired a contractor to update the unit, based on the tenant's promise to move out on schedule --Paras R. DEAR PARAS: Please consult a local real estate attorney whose specialty is evictions. I'm sure you have thought of the several possibilities such as the tenant moved out but left the car; abandoned the apartment and the car; passed away either in the apartment or elsewhere; is in the hospital or jail; is avoiding you because she refuses to move out; or wants to drag out the eviction procedure to obtain as much "free rent" from you as possible. Purchase Bob Br...