Dallas/Fort Worth Real Estate Investor Club

How to handle Tenants dispute about move out repairs

  • 31 Jul 2019 3:47 PM
    Message # 7806389

    Hi there, I wish I had taken more photos just before my tenants moved in 3 years ago but now when I tell them that blinds are broken and some other things they are trying to say "It was like that when I moved in" I have photos of all the walls when I freshly painted it 3 yrs ago and now every wall and inside door needs to be painted due to marks, dirt, candle wax  on 3 different room walls..  The security deposit was $1200 and I don't think I'm going to get everything done for that and I know they are going to be upset when I tell them that they are not getting their deposit back.. 

    Any advice from you folks that are more experienced in this ?  Thanks.

  • 01 Aug 2019 9:10 AM
    Reply # 7807360 on 7806389

    Their only recourse if they are unhappy would be to sue you.  Then, they have to prove what you are stating is false. Take plenty of pictures and keep invoices for the work.  I doubt they will win if you can show reasonable expenses in excess of the security deposit.

    Keep us in the loop on what happens.

      Neil Aggarwal
      Property Financing, LLC

    Last modified: 01 Aug 2019 9:10 AM | Neil Aggarwal
  • 02 Aug 2019 9:05 AM
    Reply # 7809087 on 7806389

    The first question I have is what does your lease say?  The Texas Real Estate lease I use says they must leave a forwarding address if not then you don't have to respond until they do.  If it does then you need to give an accounting of what the deposit was use for.  Break it down by repair item if you can.  Its up to you as to what you charge for repairing items.  Like 100.00 to clean a stove or shower or replace a window.  When you get to the bottom and they owe you money tell them if they want to continue they will owe you the balance.  If these tenants were good and paid on time I tell them I wont ding their credit for the balance.    

  • 31 Aug 2019 5:38 AM
    Reply # 7857957 on 7806389

    90% of my client base is with property management co. what they do is have the tenant fill out a move in condition form that notes any discrepancies in the property you as the owner can opt to make repairs but at that point you have written condition from the tenant at time of move in then you have a legal stance if it goes to court.

    You can trust that if the tenant has an issue they will report it and will have photos as well 

    WhenI walk a home prior to a tenant move in I take pictures from corners showing walls,doors, fixtures, etc. that way my PM companies have good photos to back up claims.

  • 13 Sep 2019 1:11 PM
    Reply # 7879779 on 7806389

    Just to be clear here, they are already out of the house correct? 


  • 09 Oct 2019 3:28 PM
    Reply # 7925457 on 7806389

    I am a Coldwell Banker Realtor and have owned dozens of rentals at the same time.  Here is what I do. On the day you turn over the property to the tenant go buy a newspaper.  Take ONE video of every inch of that home.  Inside Cabinets, flooring , baseboards , I go slow and video it from every angle I can.  It takes about 15 mins to get every inch. 

    THEN I tell the tenant that I have done that and I am going to be saving that video.  I tell them I WANT to give them back their FULL security deposit when I sign the lease and that video establishes condition  on move in date. 

    I tell them I expect them to take good care of it like it was their property and that if they return it to me as I gave it to them minus normal wear and tear then they will have the security deposit back at the speed of light.  And if not the video does not lie.

    WORKS ..............After all fixing it costs downtime and lost rent.  

    Been doing it like that for 15 years ... before that I just hoped that it would be ok.  Save the video to the cloud and you are SET. 

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