What do you do if a tenant destroys your property? This is a common question, especially from first-time landlords. Everyone has the worst case scenario in their minds. Your course of action will depend on the severity of the damage and whether the tenant still lives in your property.
Handling Damage While a Tenant is in Place
If your tenant still lives in the property, you have some leverage. You should be doing routine inspections every year, and in the course of an inspection, you may see that a pet has destroyed a carpet.
Tell the tenants that per the lease agreement, they need to pay for any damage above normal wear and tear. In our leases, we have a Tenant Liability clause. It basically says the tenant shall be charged for all repairs or replacements caused by tenants, pets, guests, or licensees of the tenant excluding ordinary wear and tear.
Most leases should have something to that effect. Get a bid, and let them know how much it costs. You can ask for them to pay upfront or put the money in a reserve so you can wait and replace that carpet when the tenant moves out. If you ever need to use a security deposit during the tenancy, your lease should have a clause saying that the tenant must reimburse the security deposit.
Handling Damage After Move Out
Collecting From the Tenant