What To Do When Tenants Trash Your House
Do you own a rental property? Did your tenant leave it in less-than-perfect condition? It happens! In fact, it’s an experience that probably every landlord has faced at least once. If you looked at your empty rental property and said, “Help! My tenant trashed my house” then here are some things you can do about it…
Is it worth going after the tenant?
You need to first assess the damage and decide if it’s worth going after the tenant. Unfortunately, it often isn’t worth the hassle because it may be a time consuming and even expensive effort to get the tenant to pay you back. However, if the damage is significant enough, you may choose to do this.
Hopefully, your damage deposit covers the amount of damage but with the cost of construction these days, that’s not always the case. A few thousand dollars doesn’t go a long way anymore.
Is it worth repairing the damage?
The obvious answer is ‘yes.’ From holes in the walls to missing toilets – we’ve heard of just about everything you can imagine. Sometimes a bit of drywall and paint will fix the problem, in which case you may want to fix it up and rent it out again, and then just accept the inconvenience as the cost of doing business.
However, the damage may not be worth repairing. If you are planning to re-rent the house or list it on the market then your best course of action is to fix the repairs, even if the amount exceeds their damage deposit.
You could rent your house to a handyman
One little-known option that is actually really helpful is to find a handyman who wants to rent the house. In exchange for a discount on rent they can fix up the house for you to make it a nice rental property again. Make sure you have a timeline all spelled out, though, to avoid then staying too long without a lot of work getting done. All work should be agreed upon up front and documented.
You could sell the house
Another option is to sell the house and move on from owning a frustrating rental property. However, be aware that if you try to sell the house on the open market, you may have to fix it up first in order for the agent to list it. Another option is to sell privately to a house-buying team like ours. We buy houses in as-is condition and we’ll fix them up ourselves. So when tenants trash your house, fear not. You have options!