Evicted tenants trashed the house

Well my first (and last) rental property went as expected when I officially had the tenants removed by the court via eviction. They left the upstairs with clothes, food and about a week of cleaning. The basement, well lets just say the use of a chainsaw to the doors and a crowbar to the walls and ceiling was not what I had in mind for decorations.
These fools put atleast 100+ holes in the walls/ceiling, ripped up the carpet and decided to cut the doors in half.

Now I am trying to see if I can submit a claim to my insurance and if I should even call these tenants to let them know their act of kindness will haunt them when I have liens against them and garnish their wages. Or do I not stoop to their level and just let the courts deal with it.

Anyone ever been through this? My first rental property with tenants and look what happens. Now I need to see if there are companies or contractors out there who will assist in cleaning up and tearing down the ceiling/walls in the basement.


This is pretty tough for your first rental. You were unfortunate to have this happen on your first rental. The good news is that it should be all downhill from here!

The other good news is that patching walls is EASY and CHEAP. Unless the holes are huge, I would not replace the walls in a rental. In fact, even if the holes are huge, I still woulnd’t replace the walls in a rental. Just patch them and repaint. Doors are no big deal either. You can buy luann doors dirt cheap at Lowes or HomeDepot. If the ceiling is drywall or plaster, patch the holes. Again, piece of cake and CHEAP if you do it yourself. That’s what I love about these deadbeat tenants - they are SOOOO STUPID :bobble (which is good)! Instead of doing real damage, they knock holes in the walls and doors. No big deal. Fix it and move on! Be sure to screen your next tenants thoroughly.

If the patches don’t look that good, just take a bristle brush and texture the walls. Again, cheap and easy! I’ve done this many times to walls that had a LOT of patches. It looks great and I’ve even had new tenant comment on how nice they thought it looked.

I would not call the tenants or otherwise harass them. They have nothing to lose by coming back to do more damage. They think that they have really hurt you (which they haven’t). Let them think that and move on. You can’t put liens on someone who has nothing. You also can not garnish the wages of losers that will simply quit their job and move on to the next burger joint. There is probably no point in calling your insurance either. Landlord insurance usually does not cover damage done by tenants.

This is just part of the business, but doesn’t usually happen on your very first rental!

Good Luck,


Good luck ever collecting on that judgement. Unless they have a good job that they aren’t leaving anytime soon it’s a waste of time. If they had a good job I doubt they would behave in that manner so I’m guessing Mike is right in guessing burger joint. Heck they probably don’t even have jobs.

VERY TRUE! All I am doing is wasting my time and money pushing paperwork and court hearings against those type of tenants. I wish landlords requested referrals because all I would do is send them my pics of the place.

Patch work to the ceiling and walls should be easy enough. The idiots used a tire iron so the holes are not any longer then 1 inch x 4 inches.

This was INDEED a learning experience being my 1st rental.

Thanks for the reply!!!