The role of a landlord can be an exhausting one. All of your tenants bring their problems to you, and you're the one responsible for maintaining your various properties. However, your job is never more stressful than when a bad tenant trashes your rental property. If this happens to you, don't panic. Here are four steps you can take to restore your rental after it has been damaged by bad tenants:
1. Evict your tenants.
If your tenants aren't paying rent or they're otherwise violating the terms of your rental agreement, you have the right to evict them. Eviction laws will vary depending on what state you live in, but the eviction process remains the same. You'll need to give your tenant an eviction notice, then file the necessary paperwork with your local court. If the judge finds the eviction in your favor, your tenants will need to leave your property within an agreed-upon period of time. According to Landlordology, if your tenants don't leave, you're free to call the police to have them removed.
2. Change the locks.
It's illegal to change the locks before your tenants have been formally evicted. However, after they have been evicted, changing your rental's locks is the smart thing to do. Especially if your tenant left on bad terms, you want to safeguard against retaliatory actions that may come in the form of property damage or breaking and entering. Having your locks changed is a quick and simple process. Make a phone call to your local residential lock replacement service, such as Metro Lock and Safe, to learn what goes into this process.
3. Hire a cleaning service.
If your tenants were irresponsible, they probably left your rental property a huge mess. Trying to clean it up yourself can lead to frustration and cost you a lot of time. Instead of picking up a mop, hire a cleaning service instead. Many cleaning services offer special packages for this type of job.
4. Fix any damage.
Hopefully, your tenants didn't cause any significant damage, but after your rental is clean, you should check everything thoroughly. Your former tenant's security deposit will cover some of the cost incurred by making repairs, and you may be able to sue them for additional money if the damage was particularly bad. Remember to take photos to document the state of your rental before repairing anything. This will help you if you have to provide proof of the damage in court at a later date.