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Tenant Damages


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Bonnie Ely shared her first post.

Hello, I hope I am in the right place. we own a house and our tenants left a mess, we are planning on fixing the damage ourselves and with the help of my electrician brother and general contractor dad. how do I do that for records? and the carpet in the house was new in 2010 but they have completely destroyed it, however, it was not it perfect shape when they moved in. can I charge at least some of the replacement cost to them?

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Hi there and welcome! With carpet and the details you have on it, it sounds like it’s been installed for about 8-10 years. A good carpets life is estimated at around that time frame. You could try and get it professionally cleaned to stretch the life a bit more, but it just depends on how bad it is. That laminate that has bubbled and peeled will do just that when in contact with water. I would recommend replacing it with a vinyl plank flooring. Much better stuff and waterproof. 

In reguards to charging the previous tenants. You MAY be able to get them for neglecting to remove water and or shoes while walking on the laminate. All this kinda depends on when it was put in though as it may be past it’s expected lifetime.

Id charge them a fair price for any cleaning and yard work as long as it stated in the lease that it was the tenants responsibility. 

Welcome to the landlord life. This will happen. Just do your best to make the process easy for you. I highly recommend getting a tried and true lease. I do believe Real Property Management Last Frontier has one for purchase. 

Best of luck! 

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54 minutes ago, Adam Torres said:

Welcome to the landlord life.

Well said!  It is sad, and I hate to admit this, it does happen.   There are things that can reduce the risks, great screening, great lease, frequent inspections, and find reasons to maintain and check on the place.  

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Thanks Adam, 

We had a cleaning service go in and clean it today and it took 8 hours, there was hair in the oven and their kid used the walls as his personal easel. they also appear to have taken a hammer to the fridge door and their dog completely chewed though our solid wood door and trim. Do I need to get estimates from more than one contractor? And when I fix things myself how do I charge rates for that? I’m mostly just disgusted at how dirty it can get in one year. The house was not perfect but it was a very clean house. 

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Getting quotes would probably be a good idea but I have not always done that. I can't say how this holds up in court but I usually try to document my time there, what I did, and apply some hourly rate to my time. If there are things that were done that I didn't charge for I will usually include that too as a  non charge item. Thought being to show a level of reasonableness that i am not trying to extort former tenants for normal wear and tear. 

I figure cleaning usually runs 25-35 an hour, handyman type service 30-50 and General contractor 60-90 and trades such as plumbing and electrical are in the 100-120 range. That's a really rough guesstimate but I am a GC and I see those rates a lot. I would typically expect people pricing in those ranges to have their licenseing and such fairly on the up and up. 

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