Criminal Charges for Vandalism

11 Replies


    We're having a tough eviction.  The lady filed an extremely detailed answer - all bogus.  We prevailed in court.  Lockout is this morning.  Since the court dates, she has been doing something with the water in her apartment to cause leaks into the apartments downstairs.  Last night, she caused a flood that even got water to the floor below that ( she's on the third floor ).  Staff had to turn off the water for the whole building at 3:00 this morning.

  I am so tired of this kind of crap.  I want to file criminal charges against this person, for vandalism.  Has anybody had any luck doing that?  The last time I called the PD for something a tenant did ( that person stole the refrigerator when she moved out ), they said it was a civil landlord/tenant matter to be handled through the security deposit.  Yeah, right.  PD just didn't want to do the work.

The police will usually give the same to similar response they already gave you.  It is really difficult to get a conviction. Unless it was caught in the act or has pictures or footage of the act. 

I would definitely use the security deposit and anything in addition would be a civil matter, and you will ultimately have to decide what your time is worth from pursuing it. 

In my experience i would possibly turn into insurance and look for a new insurance company, because your rates will most likely increase. Another option is just to eat the cost   to repair things and take it as a lesson learned and find better tenants.

Here's the preliminary list of what the tenant did:

* She pulled all the electrical sockets out of the walls and CUT THE WIRES - very big deal, because it's knob & tube.

* She removed the light fixtures

* She stole the door locks

* She broke ceramic tiles in the floor

* She set fires in the kitchen and bathroom.

* She poured something sticky & smelly into the carpet

* She damaged the water heater

* She broke the pipes coming out the wall for the shower and bathroom vanity

* She stole the smoke & CO detectors

* She made holes in the walls and ceilings.

* She slashed the tires on my maintenance man's truck ( there was a witness )

Interestingly, she was an ideal tenant for many years.  Paid the rent like a clock, you hardly knew she was there.  Then about three months ago, she just stopped paying.  We waited a month - because she was *such* a good tenant, and then went and asked what was the problem, and would she like a payment plan?  She just said "You'll have to file".  Didn't leave us much choice.

I suspect drugs.

You can go ahead and try to bring it with the police but like @jonathanwilks said, they will likely give you the same answer because they don't want to deal with it.  If she has any assets to her name or even a SSN, it is an option to go after her in civil court but you may never be able to collect what you expend on the matter because she is a deadbeat.  I wish there were a better answer for this situation.    

Try to get a conviction for the tire slashing because of the witness but I'd give the rest of it up unless she has a steady job you can garnish from.

Job?  Hah!  Honestly, at the end of the day I'm still a multifamily owner, and she's a homeless drug addict.  Not that big a deal.  I paid the big checks, re-rented the apartment, and moved on.

Thats just horrible though. I don't understand the peoples logic, what do they gain from trashing a place other than giving you a hard time. I would still press charges if you can because there is no way there is no reocourse to someone causing ten's of thousands in damages.

I think she had essentially lost her mind.  Her answer to the eviction said that we were stealing her electricity, powering the whole complex off her apartment.  It went on for pages of crabbed, tight handwriting.  She even listed the license plates of all the cars in the parking lot. 

I was angry at the time, but what's the use of complaining about the insane?  It's like complaining about the weather.

For what it's worth, I did take out a warrant once on a tenant who stole a couple of rugs when they left right before their eviction.   I had to do the work on all of this;  police would not do anything initially.  I still had the receipts for the rugs as evidence.  

I was the one who had to do the running around to various places to get this warrant processed (the clerk of court, then our local law enforcement office) but it was cheap to process this ($10) and eventually the woman (I made it out on her since she was the one with the steady job) was arrested (perhaps picked up on a routine traffic stop and her history showed an outstanding warrant on her).

You might check to see if you can do any of this as long as you do the "legwork".


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  That's good info.  I didn't know one could do that oneself.    I really have put this behind me though.  I even sold the building earlier this year.   - Jerry

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