How can we sue renters for property damage?

My husband and I own a condo and we had renters in there for the past year and they just left the condo and destroyed the place. We don’t have rental insurance and they did over $4000 worth of damage. Water damage in the hallway and now there is extreme mold all under the carpet. They had a dog and cat without us knowing and there’s pee and poop stains everywhere. The place smells terrible, it’s as dirty as can be. Small holes in the wall from hanging stuff, cigerettes, broken blinds, vinyl coming apart, wood flooring coming up, Broken sink, and much more. They just moved out of state (he’s in the military) and the police said that it’ll be a long process and if they don’t show up in court then there will be a warrant for their arrest and that’s about it. I’m not sure what to do now. Please let me know what to do and if I can sue them for damages, etc. I have tons of pictures for proof.

Asked on July 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Utah

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, if one has renters and they cause damages to the rented unit they are obligated under the law to pay for such.

From what you have written, you have a factual as well as a legal basis for bringing an action against your former tenants preferably in small claims court for the $4,000 in damages. I would make sure you bring your photographs and estimates for the costs of repair with you when you have your day in court to prove up your damages.

You might consider consulting with a landlord tenant attorney to assist you as well concerning the damages you have suffered from your former tenants.


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