Property Damages: How to Handle a Destructive Tenant

Property Damages: How to Handle a Destructive Tenant

Over 44 million households in the US are renters. Generally, owning a rental property is a great investment with plenty of people looking to rent.

But it can go very wrong when tenants don't respect the property. While landlords hope to get respectful tenants who look after the property, there are many occasions when tenants are destructive. Angry or upset tenants can cause multiple property damages resulting in thousands of dollars of damage.  

Fortunately, there are ways to manage these difficult situations, so landlords get the best outcome possible. Here's what you need to know if your tenants are damaging your property.

Identify The Damage

The first step in dealing with property damages is identifying if the damage was intentional. Rental properties are subject to wear and tear and accidental damage which may not be a respectful tenants' fault. However, deliberate damage is unacceptable.

Property damage liability could be on you if the damage is minor and could be unintentional. However, apparent tampering and extensive damage to a rental property fall on the tenant.

Document The Damage

If you need to make an insurance claim, you will need proof. You should have a record of what the property looked like before the tenants moved in. Documenting the damage with video and photos can show the extent of the damage and makes property damages insurance claims much easier.

You will also need evidence if you end up in court. If you can prove the extent of the damage before the tenant moved in, you can legally cover the cost of repairs by keeping some of the security deposit.

Talk To Your Tenant

Some tenants, even angry, may prefer to pay for the damage they caused instead of going to court.

It may be an unpleasant conversation, but you should give them the chance to explain and pay for the damage before getting the law involved. Make sure you refer to your landlord-tenant code to determine where they have breached the contract and how they are responsible. The clearer you can be, the better.

Just as you should document the damage, you should record all conversations and communication with the tenants. You'll need to rely on this evidence if you end up in small claims court.

Get A Quote For The Repairs

Get several quotes for the potential repairs. Some minor damage may take one day and not cost much. More severe damage could mean your property is vacant for weeks and will cost a lot. You might need to start working on repairs as soon as possible.

Compare several quotes so you know how long it will take to repair the damage and how much it will cost. It may be beneficial to start repairs and get the money from the tenant later so your property can be rented again, rather than wait for the tenant to pay up.

Handling Rented Property Damages Effectively

Tennant issues affect almost every landlord at one point or another. If you are facing a situation where tenants have caused property damages to your rental property, you will need proof of the damage.

You can reduce the risk of these situations by carefully vetting and screening your tenants and relying on a property manager for support.

Contact us today for more information about tenant screening and dealing with difficult tenants.

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