Top 5 Actions To Take When You Discover Tenants Trashed Your Rental
Angry tenants who purposely trash your property in retaliation for an eviction process is probably the worst problem a landlord could face. Tenants who act like this may have nothing to lose and could probably damage the property or steal furniture or appliances just to get revenge.
Damages such tenants could cause can go from relatively mild to quite disastrous, possibly rendering the property unlivable. From breaking the windows, leaving holes in walls, tearing up carpets, shredding beddings, to ripping out appliances… angry tenants are the worst landlord nightmare.
Quickly Determining The Extent of Damage and The Costs Involved
1. First, Analyze The Level Of Damage Done
Let’s take the ICE (Identify, Categorize, Eliminate) method to analyze the level of damage done to your property.
Identify. Was it really the tenant who destroyed the property? Have you have past issues with the tenant causing such damage? Did you recently have a misunderstand with the tenant in question? Understanding the the extent to which the damage has occurred and possible causes will help you to determine what course of action to take.
Categorize. Is it something you can control? Start by inspecting the property yourself so you can categorize the extent of the damage. But make sure the tenant is given 24-hour notice before your actual visit. Document the damage and assess the situation.
Eliminate. Eliminating the issue is the main goal in situations like this, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that every bad tenant ends up in an eviction process. Get to the bottom of the issue, then try to solve the actual issue, before moving forward with an eviction.
Check this page out for more tips on handling bad tenants.
2. Make sure to document everything.
Whatever the situation might be, make sure to thoroughly document as much damage as you can find inside and outside of the rental. This will serve as a solid basis to support your claim if it all ends in an eviction case.
3. Take pictures and videos.
As you tour the property, snap a picture or take a video of it. Take clear and detailed shots of every damage, no matter how small it may be. Talk to neighbors and ask if they’d give statements if asked. Most of the time the neighbors will be happy to help you if it will calm down and quiet down the area.
This documentation will be valuable in establishing the level of destruction for a future court case. Also, make sure every image taken has both a date and time stamp on them.
4. Search for bids on repairs right away.
As soon as possible, have an expert assess the property and provide estimates on how much it will cost you to restore the unit to its original condition. Never lose the receipts and invoices of the materials and labor costs as this can be used for your court case.
5. Deduct from the security deposit.
Although the total repair cost on every damage, especially severe ones, may exceed the deposit amount, the law will still require you to send an itemized list of repairs with the costs deducted from the deposit to the tenant within a set number of days. You need to fill out the Security Deposit Disposition form or SODA, and get it to the tenant within state guidelines.
How To Handle Bad Tenants Who Purposely Damage Your Property
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