Tuesday, September 6, 2011

advice please

My husband and I own a 2nd house that we use as a rental.  About 6 weeks ago we chose to evict the people that were in it.  They were out of contract and their payment history was pretty awful.  When they moved in a year ago I let them paint on the condition that they re-paint when they left.  Their deposit was $600.00.  When we went over to change the locks after they moved out we discovered that they didn't re-paint at all.  So I was left with a red kitchen, purple room, blue room, and gray room.  Fun.  They also appeared to have stopped mowing the yard they day we evicted them.... no joke, grass was about 2-3 feet tall.  They didn't take all of their stuff out of the house and they definitely didn't clean.  A carpet that has always cost me $250 to have cleaned cost me $340 this time because it was so gross.  So here is the problem, today the ex-renter texts me and asks me when I'm giving her back her deposit.  Seriously?  I can't even respond because I'm so frustrated and I don't want to say something I shouldn't.  So, what would you do?  Give any of it back?  The professional cleaners quote was $125, the carpet was $340.  Guess I should get a quote for a painter now, and then a mower.  I'm torn... help!


Crystal said...

How much time was there between when you evicted them and when they had to be out? If they had to pack up and move suddenly, I can see how they might not have had time to paint.

Do you have anything in your lease about what they are required to do upon move-out? Like, I'm assuming you would be cleaning the carpets between tenants anyway, but they should probably be responsible for the extra you had to spend for super-cleaning.

I'd send them an itemized list of expenses you incurred as a result of the place being left in that state (ie anything over and above what you would do for a normal cleaning) so they know you're not just "taking" their deposit, and give back anything that might be left over.

Kristen said...

thanks for the advice, and we gave them 6 weeks notice when we evicted...

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

Do you have anything in writing that states what condition the property needed to be left in upon move out?

If so, I agree with other poster that you should send them an itemized list of repairs.

Anonymous said...

I would in no way shape or form give them the money back. You all are going to spend money and time on getting the house back in order before you can rent again or sell, no way.

Leslie G said...

No way. If you gave them 6 weeks notice for eviction, that's PLENTY of time to make an attempt to paint, mow, and do some cleaning. I agree with the poster who said to sent them an itemized bill of everything you have to pay for in order to get the place ready for another tenant, which would be more than the deposit.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Not having any idea of what your lease says,

1) Take pictures. Hopefully you did before cleaning anything.

2) While it's not legally mandated, you would be best benefited by mailing them a certified letter stating that you will be holding the deposit until the property can be restored to the original condition to which they moved in.

3) Most leases REQUIRE that the property be completely cleaned BEFORE the tenants are refunded their deposit. That has always meant that *I* as the renter am responsible for washing/painting walls, repairing nail holes, shampooing carpets, cleaning bathrooms, etc.

Now, you can do it one of two ways. Inform the previous renters (in writing by certified letter) that their entire deposit is being retained due to their failure to maintain the property and return it to you in a like condition as when they moved in...OR you can be a 'nice guy' and refund them the overage, if there is any after you guys are done restoring your property.

Charge them for the ENTIRE shampoo cost. Charge for you and/or your husband's time to mow and clean the property and charge them for the entire cost to repaint the house. Keep track of your hours (and charge for your time as if you had to pay someone else to do it) and receipts.

When you are done, mail them (certified mail) a copy of the hours it took restore the house as well as an itemized list of materials. If there is an overage, that's when you can refund them or truth be told, if the deposit does not cover the bill, you can demand payment.

I doubt either of you will want to go to court over it, but this way YOU are covered, should you have to go in front of a judge.

I'd say that lady had a lot of nerve to ask you for their deposit back. (grrrr) People just amaze me.

Psstt-And don't ever let anyone paint again. Seriously, people NEVER want to paint over their 'beautiful' walls when they leave. It's too much trouble when you are trying to move and they never seem to fathom WHY other people think their choice of color sucks. LOL