What are my legal rights as a landlord, if I have a tenant renting under a verbal contract who has caused extensive damage to my property and failed to pay the monthly rent?

The tenant has also committed unlawful transgressions, was wanted by the local police, and might have brought stolen property into the rental property. They owe over $1000 in rent and has caused extensive damage to the property including a clogged toilet, damage to our garage door, breaking our snow blower and damage to furnishings in rental property. The rental property is a share house, we live upstairs they live downstairs. Shared access to laundry and garage.

Asked on January 17, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you have no written lease then the tenant is a month to month tenant.  Even though written leases are preferable - as they are easier to prove - you still have a valid claim for rent owed.  If you did not keep a security deposit then you have to sue for the damages in court.  Take lots of pictures.   Speak with an attorney.  Good luck.

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