Hi guys, I am furious. My tenant caused damage by leaving carpets with excessive cat urine and vomit all over, burnt holes in it with hot coals in a plastic bucket and pretty much never vacuumed stairs, cleaned shower etc etc.
She wanted some TV wires back that she left so she was organizing a painter to come and fill the holes and repaint them. He was scheduled to come this Saturday, ON HIS OWN, fine right!!!!!
I am in the garden and walk out front to see my tenants car outside the apartment and them both inside the building. I ask what the hell she thinks she is doing and would she not think about knocking on my door or texting me that she is here and to leave the building immediately. 5 mins later!!!! she goes to her car all butt hurt. I go, to work out the deposit remainder, as its been 21 days (so by law need to return that) and low and behold, she is back in there saying the painter needed help!!!!!!!! (which he did not) She is having a good look around so I ask if she is hard of hearing and tell her she left the place in a disgusting state after she was trusted to rent with animals and that I really didn't want her in there.
15 mins later, I follow her out back, behind the property and she is now on the god damn roof (stable block with is unsupported and poss rotten) as she needs to get her wind chimes she left.
I ask her to get down as that would be my liability and (also ask if she is a grown woman or a child so lost my cool a little) agree to climb out the window to get the darn wind chimes. She sulks off saying she doesn't have to listen to me and I say OK well you will listen to the police if I have to tell her again.
I am coming out the house with the remainder check and she has been in the house again as the old garage foot wiping rug is now sitting on the apartment doorstep!!!! (and wasn't there less than 5 mins prior, so think she was stealing it) I put it back, give her the check and receipts and ask her to sign saying she received the check and understands the charges for cleaning, carpet damage. She refuses saying we obviously can't communicate, acting like I am at fault and she has done nothing wrong!!!!!
Jeez I tell you, yes she is now out my life but I have a bad feeling she will dispute the amount though feel I am covered as only charged $100 for cleaning and repair for excessive .5" holes everywhere, $25 for supplies, $80 for the smoke detector she took down and monoxide detecter she took with her plus $200 carpet cleaning and $325 to repair the holes. I took pics of it all so think I am good but surely there is something I can do as feel she, and idiots like her, should not be able to do this kind of thing, she is the sort of person that thinks it's her world and we just live here.
Should I make a non urgent report to the police or serve her an injunction never to return to this property just to make it clear she was in the wrong. I also wonder if I should text warning if the check is cashed then she accepts the deposit return?? as I forgot to write it on the check.
Any advice is greatly appreciated and I know most will tell me to just forget it but maybe I should stand up for all the people this woman walks over daily. I could have had personal stuff over there or a new tenant could have taken possession and I would have been in trouble. I only have a p.o. box too so guess she is pretending to be all sweet again to the new unsuspecting landlord
So, did she move out, yet still has access or did she never move out?
If she moved out, and it sounds like she wasn't a good tenant either, the locks should have been changed by you. And she was supposed to return all copies of the keys.
You do not need to file any police reports or even worry about her fighting you about the deposit. How did she even earn any deposit back if her cat destroyed the place? Also, if you only have 21 days to return the deposit, she should have been done fixing it up. Why was she having a painter do work? Isn't that someone *you* would hire?
This situation confuses me.
When the tenant moves out you change the locks. Why in the world is the tenant having a painter in there after they left? Once the tenancy ends the tenant should not be involved in the place in any way.
First thing I think you need to do is take a few deep breaths and be thankful she is gone. Next make sure the locks were changed don't trust her to have turned in all the keys. Finally it sounds like your deposit return was done by the book. Keep your photos and documentation and don't worry about it. Don't call the police (unless she comes back) they have enough to deal with. Finally, assuming you did not inherit this tenant take a step back and ask yourself what you should have done differently, where there any red flags, and is my screening process in need of any tweaking so I don't ever have to deal with this nonsense again?
Bad tenants happen, don't let the next one stress you out as much as this one has. Otherwise you life is going to harder than it needs to be. Best of luck to you on your next one!
Screen better. Do more regular inspections. Change locks immediately at move out. Problem solved.
And charge more for damages! I do $50/ hole requiring patching. ~$500/room requiring painting. Let them take a day off work to fight it if they think the 50+ pics at move in/ move out and documented emails/ text communications are misleading.
I appreciate all this thanks. Yes she had moved out completely and did leave a key, but forgot a couple of items. The front door was unlocked as we are up in the mountains and it's a only few yards from my house plus we had been installing smoke detectors about an hour before but I had yet to finish. She suddenly remembered wires that she had forgotten for her TV (she had 2x 5" holes cut out of the feature wall to hide her cables, without asking) so it was easier to have her reputable painter guy pop in and cover up the holes and remove her last items without me having to see her again.
My fault for not just getting it done myself I suppose but she is the sort of tenant that uses Court Action in seemingly every sentence and was seen taking pictures of everything when she left and even took a picture of her notice taped to my front door so I was trying to minimize any court action by at least keeping her in the loop of all the damage so I could get her replies by text to use if she decided to challenge my return deposit amount.
She did admit to the burns in the carpet (stupidly putting hot coals from the fire in a plastic home depot bucket) and argued that it wasn't cat urine but vomit as her cat had cancer (but obviously didn't think to clean them or have them professionally cleaned). Also I had her admit she took the smoke detector down and removed the carbon monoxide unit also so have that as defense.
In CA we can't charge for a replacing a carpet unless its new, anything less than 8 years, you can only charge for years left and its older than that but was in a good state before she moved in. We can also only charge $126 if we don't have receipts so for the work I did I was limited to that amount and let me tell you I was in there for 5 or more hours. Plus I honestly don't want to fleece anyone and only want to charge what is fair to return it to how nice it was before the tenancy
You are right about the screening though, I did do an online screening that looked good but didn't call her boss to confirm annual salary and there was no old landlord info as she lived with a friend who had gone on business. Def a red flag for next time (and the fake butter wouldn't melt attitude she had) when one small dog, became two indoor cats and then 6 turtles. Do you guys have a better site for searches? I did use tenantbackgroundsearch.com but found another that looked better recently but forgot to bookmark it.