If you are a landlord who is currently dealing with a unit that a previous tenant left in poor condition, then you might be overwhelmed and completely unsure of what to do. Dealing with these situations is tough, but there are some things that you should not do. These are three things to avoid if you are a landlord who is currently dealing with a trashed apartment or rental home.
1. Get Rid of Evidence
First of all, you shouldn't just get rid of evidence, no matter how much you might want to immediately start cleaning up your rental. Instead, make sure that you take lots of pictures and otherwise document evidence before you start cleaning things up, no matter how tempting it might be to try to whip the place into proper shape again. If possible, consider taking video footage of the unit in the condition that it was left in. Writing down a list of things that are wrong with the unit can also help, and if you call in any repair or cleaning professionals, make sure that you keep copies of their invoices and notes as well. After all, you will need as much evidence as possible to handle the situation.
2. Contact the Tenant
Even though you might want to contact the tenant to complain about the damage or to ask for money, it's often not a good idea to do so. It can be easy for these types of conversations to become heated, which is probably only going to stress you out more and probably isn't going to help the case. Plus, if you aren't careful about what you say, your words could be used against you somehow in a civil court case.
3. Handle the Situation Without a Lawyer
If you feel as if you are clearly in the right and that your tenant is clearly in the wrong, you might not think that there is a problem with going to court on your own. However, to ensure that your case is handled properly, it's generally best to hire an attorney who is accustomed to handling civil court cases. Then, you can get professional legal advice and assistance while you're dealing with this tough situation.
As a landlord, realizing that one of your units has been trashed by a tenant that moved out or was evicted can be highly upsetting. It can be easy to make the wrong moves and make a lot of mistakes. If you avoid these three things and get advice from your lawyer, however, you can help ensure that you deal with this difficult situation properly as a landlord. Contact a civil litigation attorney for more help.
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