Profile picture for ssolano

I own 3 houses, two of which were renting out. The tenants are gone and left a mess. what do i do?

I am selling the house i'm living in and hopefully moving to one of my other houses. but what should i do with the other one. i am completely stuck. both tenants were bad.
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July 18 2010 - Idaho Falls
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Answers (14)

If the home is left unclean, you are able to charge clearning fee out of the security deposit.  
For future reference, To prevent this from happening as much we always give the tenants a "check out list" very detailed list that reminds them of what to clean, all the way down to cleaning baseboards, etc.   really makes a difference and gives them a standard to go by.
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April 01 2011
I am curious how you came out in the long run?
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March 06 2011
Yes but if you bring them to court it  shows on their record.  We can protect each other by bringing them to court when they owe money.
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July 30 2010
I am a landlord too, mostly there is nothing you can do even you bring them to the court, they don't have money to pay you. What you can do is in the future be careful whom you rent it to.
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July 29 2010
If the unit is damaged beyond "normal wear and tear " (see http://www.rentlaw.com/normalweartear.htm), be sure to send the tenants a letter noting the damages, charges and balance of the security deposit or amount due.

This should be done in the time permitted by law.
 
For the future, try a screening service such as:
rentlaw.mysmartmove.com

Even if the tenant has perfect credit - never means they are a great tenant.

Also, usually by the time an eviction filing hits public records, that evicted tenant may be yours,

More info: RentLaw.com The National Landlord Tenant Guide
http://www.rentlaw.com
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July 28 2010
It is true I do not know what she meant by a mess but I am a landlord and work with other landlords.... I know what we mean by a mess.  Perhaps ssolano would care to elaborate....
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July 25 2010
Profile picture for wetdawgs
@ Deborah:   Unless you are ssolano, we don't know what she/he meant.

I am perfectly aware of why landlords complain, but I am also aware that different landlords have different trigger factors.   The phrase "left a mess" doesn't say that the rent wasn't paid, and a mess may be simply a mess - not damage per say.   Who knows?   Only ssolano.

Assuming is very dangerous thing to do.
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July 24 2010
Usually they left without paying the rent or damaged the place.... That is usually why landlords complain.....  
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July 23 2010
Profile picture for wetdawgs
ssolano has not told us what the tenants did to deserve the label "bad".  Therefore, whether or not small claims court or reporting them to the credit bureaus is justified depends on exactly what was done.  

I've seen a number of landlords who have the expectation of no wear and tear on the rental unit after several years, and thus label the tenant "bad". 
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July 23 2010
Take them to small claims and turn it over to collections....  This will allow the wonderful tenants to appear on the Idaho Repository.... This will make it possible for others to see there bad behavior.  I just turned down a middle aged couple from Idaho falls because of their bad credit report.
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July 23 2010
Sounds much like the experience I had last year!  All I can say is "just keep swimming".  I tried selling, unsuccessfully, and gradually got the vacated places cleaned up and re-tenanted, but now I'm back into a less-than optimal situation with one of my tenants already (I kind of accetped him knowing it was risky, but thought it was better to have someone in there than for it to be vacant).

Depending on your local rental market--ours has picked up quite a bit here due to people short-selling and foreclosing but still needing a place to live--your best option may just be to short sell one or more properties.  It all depends on your tolerance level for the things that renters do to properties.

One thing you must be sure to do, if you choose to continue being a landlord, is get first and last months' rent in advance.  You will have lots of calls from people unwilling to part with that much up front, but in this market it is imperative!

Good luck--do let me know what you decide, and know that you are not alone!
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July 19 2010
Profile picture for wetdawgs
What sort of mess did they leave?  Hopefully their damage deposit covers some of it.    It is quite normal to paint and often recarpet between tenants.

What to do with the other one?  You can sell it if being a landlord is too hard, or you can get it back into top shape and screen tenants rigorously before renting.

 
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July 19 2010
Chasing after the tenants is going to cost you time and money, which it seems like you don't have much of right now. Your best bet is to roll up your sleeves, clean it up, and rent it out as quickly as possible. I assume by mess you just mean dirty. Well, dirty is easy to fix. Cleaning supplies and some paint won't cost you more than $100. Broken fixtures, doors, etc. would add up, so hopefully you just mean messy.

Next time, spend some time checking the prospective tenant's references! Get quality tenants so they stay longer and don't wreck the place.
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July 19 2010
First, talk to your attorney about damages from the tenants.

Next, will rent cover the payments?  If so, just re-rent the homes.  Look into doing lease purchases or sales on them to to get out from the debt if need be.

If that doesn't work, talk to your attorney about short sales, deed in lieu or other options.

Best of luck!
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July 18 2010
 
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