What Do You Do When a Tenant Damages Your Property?

You’ll have to judge these on a case by case basis, but your lease probably spells out that the property must be left in the condition it was in before move-in. Thus, if your tenant decides to paint their bedroom neon pink, it is their duty to re-paint before leaving or cover the cost with their security deposit.

A mobile inspection app like Tellus is a good tool for landlords. It not only enables you to cut inspection time in half, but it also lets you take pictures with your cell phone and embed them right into the inspection report, which can serve as evidence if there’s damage later.

In the case of damage, you should first ask the tenant in writing to handle it and keep a copy for your records. If it is something the tenant cannot or will not handle, you can let your maintenance staff do the work and send the bill to the tenant. Your lease should specify that you have the right to do so in the event beyond normal wear and tear. It's a good idea to make interim inspections of the property during the lease term from time to time.

If the tenant refuses to fix the damage or pay the cost of repairs, you have grounds to evict them with a "Cure or Quit" notice if your lease allows.