If you own a rental property but had a tenant trash it when they left then make sure you read this article because we’re addressing the all-too-common problem that landlords have when they say, “Help! My last tenant trashed my Rowlett house!”
Do you own a rental property? Did you have a 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 Rowlett 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. This would entail filing a lawsuit at small claims court usually to try and collect money for damages from 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. You need to weigh the cost of filing and the cost of your time vs the property damage. However, if the damage is significant enough, you may choose to do this.
Is it worth repairing the damage?
From holes in the walls to broken toilets to HVAC units missing – 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, if the damage to your rental property is not worth repairing yourself then you might be interested in a couple of other options:
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 (or even free 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.
Hire a property manager to rent your property
After you have gone through the ringer managing your own rental properties out for awhile, its time you look at hiring a professional property manager. This will improve your quality of tenant because most professional property management companies use a set of tools to screen tenants like credit and background checks. Additionally when their is a company in between the tenant and you the tenant is not able to take advantage of an owner’s leniency. Some savvy tenants know when they are dealing with an owner that the owner doesn’t want to have to evict them so they will try to pay rent a little late one month, then later the next, etc.
The property manager does add a monthly cost usually 5-10% of gross rent to the expenses of a rental property but it is well worth it to avoid the extra money spent on evictions or fixing a trashed house.
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). we buy rental properties from landlords that are done with them throughout DFW.