Though there is a significant amount of information regarding a tenant’s rights, it is equally essential to protect and safeguard the rights of the landlords as well. Landlords may receive unjustified condemnation because they have a perceived level of power over a tenant.
Landlords are men and women who own property and wish to provide for their families—as does everyone else. From that perspective, you can quickly see how serious it is when a landlord must deal with actively destroying their property. If you find yourself in this position, here is how to proceed.
During An Eviction
When landlords have a dispute with their tenants, they find themselves in a unique situation. The person—or people—they are arguing with live on their property. There are instances when tenants destroyed or intentionally damaged property because of an eviction. If the person thinks the landlord is powerless to stop them, they may (wrongly) decide to get even.
When you suspect someone is intentionally harming property you own, look at your lease. Under what circumstances are you able to enter the property? For example, you may need to give notice that you wish to enter the apartment or home. There may be a required obligatory waiting period that follows your request, which will be dependent on the lease.
After gaining access to the rental property, document the damage. Take pictures. Add notes that include the time and date on which you are taking them.
After getting estimates for the damage, show them to your tenant. Although it is possible to deduct the costs from the security deposit, you should be very careful and deliberate when doing so. Each state has specific laws and regulations regarding how these deposits are handled.
It is highly recommended that you speak to legal counsel when drafting your lease. When you reach the clause regarding the security deposit, your attorney can explain how they need to be managed and used.
If and when you can utilize these funds, do so. Suppose your tenant is not willing to pay for damages beyond what the security deposit covers, reach out to an attorney who handles landlord/tenant disputes. An attorney can advise you on your options moving forward.
If it is a scenario where there is continued and reckless damage to your property, you do have the ability to contact the police. At worst, they will explain it isn’t a criminal matter. However, you will have an appropriate authority intervening. They will likely document and generate a report based on what occurred.
When it comes to landlord/tenant disputes or eviction proceedings, Atlas Law proudly represents landlords throughout the entire state of Florida. If you have multiple units across several counties, we can represent all of them on your behalf. Should you have any additional questions or are ready to meet with an attorney, contact Atlas Law.