Your life as an Ohio landlord may allow you few days to rest and relax. However, you may be among the fortunate ones who have pleasant tenants who get along and are relatively self-sufficient. Not only can this make your workload lighter, but it may also mean your tenants stay longer.
What if this isn’t the case? If you suspect a tenant is causing damage to a rental unit, you have recourse through the Ohio eviction process. What can you do if you must evict a tenant who exacts revenge by further damaging or destroying the rental unit? Because real estate laws often favor the tenants, you may have to proceed carefully to protect your rights and your property.
Steps for seeking justice
If you have had to take action to evict a tenant, or if you have a tenant who is not cooperating with the terms of your lease, you have every right to be concerned about the condition in which the tenant will leave the apartment or house after vacating. Some landlords are shocked at the amount of damage angry tenants can do to a unit they have had to vacate. If you find that you have evicted a tenant who then leaves the unit with significant damage, you would be wise to take the following steps:
- Seek legal advice about your options.
- Contact law enforcement for an official report of the damage to your property. It is not likely they will arrest your tenant unless you find valuable items missing.
- Take pictures and videos of the damage as soon as possible. This means recording every inch of the unit and including a date and time stamp on your pictures.
- Obtain several bids from reputable companies who do repairs and restoration.
- Follow Ohio’s legal process for retaining your tenant’s security deposit. This may include itemizing the cost of the damage, which may exceed the deposit amount.
- Consult with your attorney about your options for seeking restitution in civil court.
- Contact your insurance company about filing a claim for damages.
You will want to work as quickly as possible to resolve the matter and get your unit back on the market. Every day without a tenant is rental income you lose. You have already lost enough while dealing with a difficult and destructive tenant. Therefore, you will work with your attorney to use every alternative for recouping your losses from your former tenant in civil court.