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 Chicago house!”
If you own a rental property in the Chicago area you will eventually have to do deal with undesirable tenants. However, for most landlords they don’t realize how bad a tenant was until the day they actually move out and find the interior condition of the property in poor condition. If you have a tenant who trashed your property recently we’ll cover some the recourse and options you have as a landlord.
Is it worth going after the tenant?
You need to first assess the damage and decide if it’s worth going after the tenant. Unfortunately, it often isn’t worth the hassle because it may be a time consuming and even expensive effort to get the tenant to pay you back. However, if the damage is significant enough, you may choose to do this.
Is it worth repairing the damage?
From holes in the walls to missing toilets – we’ve heard of just about everything you can imagine! Sometimes a bit of drywall and paint will fix the problem, in which case you may want to fix it up and rent it out again, and then just accept the inconvenience as the cost of doing business. 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) 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 then staying too long without a lot of work getting done. If you decide to pursue this option, you’ll want to be sure your agreement is well documented and includes all repair expectations and completion timelines in addition to your standard lease terms.
You could sell the house
Another option is to sell the house 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. If you don’t feel like investing the time and money to fix the property yourself you can actually sell your property as-is to a local home buying company and avoid paying any commissions/closing costs. Another option is to sell privately to a house-buying team like ours. (We buy houses in as-is condition and we’ll fix them up ourselves).