Law - destruction of rental property by tenant
Asked Aug 30, 2012, 09:02 AM
What do we do when a tenant has totally destroyed our rental, i.e. cut a large hole out of new carpet, crushed cigarette ashes in into same carpet, poured sand into the bathtub (bathroom newly remodeled one year ago), plugged toilet with several diapers, a broken window in the back of the house.. These tenants are very angry after being evicted from several blatant violations against the rental lease. We talked to them & gave them several chances because they had two small children and have another one due in just a few weeks, but obtaining a puppy was the last straw, now they have separated and left the house in total disarray. We have had the police called with neighbor complaints for domestic disturbances, the police have had to bring the small children home after finding them wandering around the neighborhood alone (ages 2 yrs and 1 yr), complaints of squealing tires in and out of the yard, therefore, flinging rocks with young children playing nearby, suspicious activity with cash exchange going on in the back of the house, and now we find that the carpet in almost the entire house will need to be replaced, we will definitely need a plumber to repair the bathroom. They do have some belongings left in the home, i.e, 2 television sets, a bed frame, a high chair, and the rest is trash, old clothes, and cooked food left in pans on the stove, cooked & uncooked food in the kitchen, etc. The date they were to be out was 8/31/2012. Do we have the right to hold their belongings that are worth holding? The only reason I entered the house was because I went down to measure the window and the back door was wide open so I looked in and when I saw the mess in the kitchen, I proceeded through the rest of the house. Both of their phone numbers have been disconnected, so I was unable to reach them. When I left, I shut and locked the back door. Can you help me at all? Thank you.