Nightmare tenants can leave a trail of destruction in their path, as was the case a Omaha landlord. His trouble tenant left behind - or didn't, in the case of stolen appliances - foundation damage, trashed carpet, and smashed drywall. All in all, the damage equaled somewhere around $13,000.

Obviously strenuous screening helps prevent many cases such as this, but once it's happened there's no going back. Should a landlord simply let it ride, make the prepares, and hope for the best next time? Definitely, you should get the repairs done quickly and fill the unit, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't legally go after the former tenant for the damages that occurred. Make sure that all of your records are in order and stay after them even when they leave. If they have any hopes of getting a deposit back, they'll leave contact information. Debt collectors may be the best route to making claims on money due for damages. If put in for collections, not only do you have a chance of getting your money back, but a chance for some accountability for the tenant as well.

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POSTED November 07 2013 1:32 PM

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