Tenants evictedafter 1 yr lease, destroyed home damage estimated at over $5000 damage. Criminal charges? Civil? Homeowners insurance cover?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Dec 19, 2011

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Insurance Question from Gautier, MS

Asked on 12/19/2011

Tenants evictedafter 1 yr lease, destroyed home damage estimated at over $5000 damage. Criminal charges? Civil? Homeowners insurance cover? What do I do? Tenants were evicted home was severley damaged with damamge esitmated over $5,000. Stopped up draines turnmed water on flooded home, holes knocked in all the walls and every door (doors were 6 panaled wooden doors), dishwasher door won't close. Bad tenants, disrupted quiet neighborhood, poilice called many times, my daughter (homeowner) visiting from Germany had to go back, hired propertry manager to evict tenants 6 months ago. they are contractually protected and our contract terminated due to bad management,. What now?

Answer given on December 19, 2011

You can call your insurance company or agent just to inquire about coverage but it is very unlikely that it will cover intentional acts by the tenant.  The best thing to do is take alot of pictures, get a repair estimate from a reputable contractor and file in small claims court in your jurisdiction or civil court against the former tenant for the cost of the repairs. There are lawyers in your area that can advise you on how to proceed.  To find a lawyer in your area, click here.    

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