If you own a rental property but had a tenant trash it when they leave, then make sure you read this article because we’re addressing the all-too-common problem that landlords have when they say, “Help! My last tenant trashed my Hawaii house!”
Do you own a rental property? Do you normally like the idea of investing in real estate for passive income but hate the headaches that come with destructive tenants? Did you have a tenant leave it in less-than-ideal condition? It happens! In fact, it’s an experience that probably every landlord has faced at least once over the course of their real estate and finance venture. If you examined at your empty rental property and said, “Help! My tenant trashed my Hawaii house” then here are some things you can do about it…
Is it worth going after the tenant?
Possibly. You need to first assess the damage and decide if it’s worth going after the tenant. Unfortunately, it often isn’t worth the trouble because it will likely be a time consuming and very expensive effort to get the tenant to pay you back, sometimes even impossible. However, if the damage is significant enough, you may choose to do this. Only you can make that decision, but it’s important to understand the resources that it will cost you versus making the best of the situation and moving on.
Is it worth repairing the damage they caused?
From shattered windows to holes in the walls to missing or broken toilets – we’ve heard of just about everything you can imagine. Sometimes some new drywall, paint and old-fashioned elbow grease will fix the problem, in which case you may want to fix it up and rent it out again to new tenants, and then just accept the inconvenience as the cost of doing business. Easier said than done, sometimes, we know. However, if the damage is not worth repairing yourself then you might be interested in a couple of other options:
You could rent your house to a handyman
One little-known option that is actually really helpful is to find a handyman who wants to rent the house. In exchange for a discount on rent (or even free rent for a short while) they can fix up the house for you to make it a nice rental property again. Make sure you have a timeline all spelled out, though, to avoid them staying too long without a lot of work getting done. You could stipulate that that free or discounted rent is only good for a short period of time upon which the renovations are to be completed and rent goes back up the normal rate.
You could sell the house “As Is”
Another option is to sell the house (or condo) and move on from owning a frustrating rental property. However, be aware that if you try to sell the house on the open market, you may have to fix it up first in order for the agent to list it. That can be expensive, depending on the extent of damage, as well as timely — few retail buyers are looking to renovate a property; they just want to move right in. Another option is to sell privately to a professional house-buying team like us. (We buy houses in as-is condition and we’ll fix them up ourselves, no matter how bad they are).