My Tenant Trashed My Nashville House. What Do I Do Now?

Hey, Spencer Sutton here with gkhouses. And the subject of this video is, “My tenant trashed my Nashville house. What do I do now?” Great question.

And let me tell you something.

If you are watching this video and you’ve never had tenant trash your house, then consider yourself lucky or consider yourself whatever you want to say.

It’s Just A Good Thing, Right?

But if you are watching this video and you have had tenant trash your house, then I just wanna let you know I know the feeling.

Like, I know how that feels. It’s not good, especially if you just spent a lot of money rehabbing the house and you find out that the house is trashed.

For me, my first experience with this was I bought a house.

I Wanted To Sell It To The Retail Market Back In 2007. (My Tenant Trashed My Nashville House. What Do I Do Now?)

Well, everybody knows what happened in 2007, 2008. The market crashed and I ended up, could not sell it retail.

So we had to stick it in a rental portfolio, put a tenant in there. And the tenant was late on rent probably three or four months in.

I went, knocked on the door and when I did, all of these dogs came running to the front door.

And In My Lease Was A No Pet Policy. And So I Went And Moved Towards An Eviction.

So once I got possession of the property, I can just tell you that the house was trashed.

It cost us a lot of money to we had to refinish the hardwoods. The dogs had destroyed the hardwoods.

And this is not a video saying that you shouldn’t allow animals because absolutely, you know, a lot of people love pets and pets can take care, I mean, you know, not all pets destroy a house, but when you have seven or eight dogs in the house, it tends to be a problem.

What I’m Talking About!

So anyway, you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve ever had that, you know the feeling.

And so, what I want to do is I want to give you a list. I’ve got a list here on what do you do next.

So it really kind of depends on if you’re discovering this when the tenant has moved out of the property already and you’re going in and looking at it and looking at the damage or if you discover this while the tenant is still in the home.

I Would Try To Get Them Out! (My Tenant Trashed My Nashville House. What Do I Do Now?)

If this tenant is still in the home and they are not close to the lease end, say they’re 6 months into a 12-month lease, then I would try to get them out as quickly as possible.

And so, the question then is, do you evict them, and that really depends on what kind of damage is done or do you simply offer them something to move out early?

Now, if it’s close enough to the lease-end date, then most definitely give them that 30-day notice.

Go Ahead And Let Them Know! (My Tenant Trashed My Nashville House. What Do I Do Now?)

Go ahead and let them know that you’re not going to be renewing the lease and you can deal with it as soon as they move out.

If, however, you’ve gone in there and they’ve moved out and you’re looking at your property and you see it’s trashed, then there are several things you need to do.

The first thing you need to do is you need to take lots of pictures, okay?

This is going to be very, very important. Just take lots of pictures in the exact way that you found your house or your condo.

Take Lots Of Pictures.

These should match up with the pictures you took before move-in.

So if you’ve done this before, if you’ve rented a house before, and you hopefully took pictures all before the tenant moved in so you have before and after pictures.

And it’s going to be pretty easy to see what’s normal wear and tear and what is tenant-related damage.  So Number One, Take Plenty Of Pictures.

Number Two, Get An Estimate, Right? (My Tenant Trashed My Nashville House. What Do I Do Now?)

So you want to contact a contractor or somebody who could work on your house and you want to get an estimate for the work that needs to be done as quickly as possible.

Make sure it’s accurate. And you wanna have this broken out like an itemized list of things that need to be repaired, not just a general estimate.

Some Guy On The Street!

Not a sheet of paper from some guy on the street that says, “Hey, I’ll you know, rehab your house for $10,000.”

That’s not what you’re looking for.

You’re looking for itemized lists because really you’re going to need to distinguish tenant-related damage versus normal wear and tear.

The Third Thing You Want To Do Is You Want To Get That Work Completed.

Now, this is going be important and it really kind of depends on your cash flow situation.

You want to get that house on the market as soon as possible. So you wanna get the estimate.

Once you’re comfortable with the estimate that you’ve received, you want to go ahead and start work on that house to get it back in the rent-ready condition so you can get it back on the market and have money flowing in again.

What You’re Also Going To Do!

But in the meantime, what you’re also going to do is you’re going to definitely send the entire breakdown of the security deposit, an accounting of the security deposit, to the tenant.

Now, you’re going to do this in accordance with the Tennessee landlord-tenant law, right.

So The Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act.

You’re going to make sure it’s all in compliance with that. and you need to know what those laws are.

In other words, how quickly that needs to be done.

As soon as you get this item on this list, you want to make sure you’re giving this tenant an accounting of everything that has happened with the house and what their portion of the security deposit it’s going to pay for because it’s tenant-related damage.

Accounting Of All That!

And so, once you have an accounting of all that, make sure you get it to them in time according to the law there.

So once you’ve done that, then you really need to decide what happens from there.

If the tenant is communicating with you, then that is great. So they may come and they may have a dispute.

They May Say, “well, That’s Not Accurate.

This was there before we got there,” or, “This is what happened here.

Your guys came out and couldn’t fix it,” or something like that. I mean, there could be a misunderstanding.

Communication Is Good. Like, Having This Open Communication Is Very Good.

And so you want to make sure you’re doing that.

And then what we’ve seen even is a lot of times, once you clear that misunderstanding up, the tenants will be okay with how you’ve allocated the security deposit.

If they owe more money, then a lot of times if they’ve been communicating, then they’ll go ahead and pay that.

Not Going To Pay!

So what happens if your tenant is not going to pay or they say, “No, I don’t agree to this”?

Well, then you need to decide whether you are going to send them to collections or you’re going to file suit.

And filing suit is just a way to go through the court system to have their wages garnished.

And Then Sending Them To Collections Is Different.

You’re sending them to a collections agency and hoping that they’ll be able to collect something out of that.

So those are the things that I wrote down.

What do you do if your Nashville tenant trashed your house?

And I hope that was helpful. If we can ever do anything for you, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reach us, 615-925-3880, extension 3.

You can also email support@gkhouses.com. We’re happy to talk to you, answer any kind of questions, give you some helpful hints, you know, some tips if we can.

And also check out our website because we have lots of videos for landlords, for Nashville landlords.

So anyway, I hope that helps.