As a landlord, you have a large amount of responsibility and stress to deal with when it comes to managing your property and tenants. Sometimes, a lease is signed and carried out without a hitch, but far too often careless and irresponsible tenants cause property damage and refuse to pay for it. It is every landlord’s worst nightmare, but unfortunately, it does happen. If you are stuck in such a situation, read on for advice on how to handle it.
What to Do When You Discover Property Damage
At the first sign of any trouble at your property, be sure to take pictures and even video to document the damage. This is essential as the documentation of damage may later prove useful as evidence if payment for the damage cannot be settled out of court. The next step is to get estimates for how much the damage will cost to repair in order to determine if the tenant’s security deposit is enough to cover the repairs. If the deposit is not enough, send your tenant a list of the repairs that need to be made as well as the cost of the repairs. If the tenant refuses to pay for those repairs, it’s time to seek legal action.
Get Legal Help Settling the Dispute
Cases of landlord landlords seeking restitution from tenants are typically settled in civil court. It is best to take action as soon as it becomes clear that the tenant will not willfully pay for the damages. Otherwise, it could take months to receive any kind of compensation. Seek out an experienced and trusted landlord attorney who can put together evidence to support your claims and fight for your rights in civil court.
Daniel C. Miller is a civil attorney in the Lee’s Summit and Kansas City area who is experienced in helping landlords settle disputes. Contact our office today at (816) 875-0470 to learn more about how we can help you.