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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 116780
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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I am thinking of renting out a house that I am underwater in

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I am thinking of renting out a house that I am underwater in until the value comes up enough for me to sell it. I can only get enough in rent to cover my mortgage and am planing on taking a deposit equal to one months rent. If I were to rent it to someone, what would be my recourse and what would be the renters deterrent(Legal Repercussions) in the following instances:

*The renters damaged the home and left
*The renters removed property such as cabinets, appliances, doors, etc.. and left
*The renters failed to keep up landscaping and left
*In the instance that the renters did not leave but failed to pay rent what should be done and with what time frame(for instance renter did not pay rent on due date what should be my steps)

Thank you in advance for your advice.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

A landlord typically charges a security deposit to cover damages caused by the tenant. The security deposit is generally about 1-2 times the monthly rent. In addition to the security deposit, you can obtain insurance on the property which would cover damages and you can also require the renter to carry insurance with you named as an additional insured. Finally, your recourse would be you can file a civil suit against them if damages exceed the security deposit and insurance does not cover them.

If they remove property that is not theirs from the residence, same thing as above goes.

If they fail to keep up landscaping, you can deduct costs from the security deposit or can sue them as well if your lease states they are liable for landscaping.

If the tenants do not pay rent when due, you must give them a 3 day notice to pay or leave and after that 3 day notice you have to file a civil suit against them for eviction. Once you get them evicted, if the security deposit is not needed for damages, any past due rent can also be taken from the security deposit or you can file a suit against them for breach of contract to recover any rents or damages not paid for or covered by the security deposit.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can we file charges if they were to steal property?

Thank you very much for your follow up.

Yes, you can contact the police if they steal property, it depends on the local department as to whether they will pursue it as a criminal complaint or will tell you that you have to go to civil court. This is something discretionary to the individual officers and departments as to how they handle these matters.
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