“Help! My Last Tenant Trashed My Killeen House”

If you own a rental property but had a tenant trash it when they leave then make sure you read this article because we’re addressing the all-too-common problem that landlords have when they say, “Help! My last tenant trashed my Killeen house!”Do you own a rental property? Did you have a tenant leave it in less-than-perfect condition? It happens! In fact, it’s an experience that probably every landlord has faced at least once and it’s particularly tough if you are managing it from out of town and doubly so if you feel like your management company isn’t giving you the support you need!
A house fixed up after problematic tenants

Avoid the situation

Well, I’ll say this up front (tough love if you will!), you probably could have avoided the situation by vetting the tenants better and following up on red flags as they arose. Of course, this is tough if you have a management company but probably the same applies to them as well! You may be out of state but even then, I would guess that you didn’t feel 100 percent about the PM before this all started, right? It’s a valuable lesson we all go through as landlords and it can be a building block to realizing that getting good tenants is more important than filling a vacancy quickly.

Is it worth going after the tenant?

You need to first assess the damage and decide if it’s worth going after the tenant. Unfortunately, it almost always isn’t worth the hassle because it may be a time consuming and even expensive effort to get the tenant to pay you back. Even if you win in small claims court (which is pretty much your only avenue) there is really no mechanism to force them to pay. You can try to file liens against them but the reality is this just likely won’t do much and will cost you even more money. However, if the damage is significant enough, you may choose to do this. Hopefully, you have a decent size deposit to cover some/all of the expenses but it can add up pretty quick.  

Just a heads up, we used to do about 60 percent of a months rent for deposit (which was pretty common in the area) but that has moved up to a full months rent now.

Is it worth repairing the damage?

From holes in the walls to missing toilets – we’ve heard of just about everything you can imagine! Sometimes a bit of drywall and paint will fix the problem, in which case you may want to fix it up and rent it out again, and then just accept the inconvenience as the cost of doing business. Obviously, this is typically what you will want to do. You can deduct the expenses and move on. *However*, if you are tired of dealing with these issues (out of state folks, I’m looking at you!), give us a call to discuss your options. We love rental properties and would love to buy yours!

You could rent your house to a handyman

I’ll be honest, I am hesitant to suggest this as in my experience it rarely goes well. that said, a lot of people like the idea of keeping an “on-site” maintenance person as a tenant so there aren’t issues. Personally, I say it’s best not to blur the tenant/landlord line like that but it is an option, just make sure that the tenant you pick is someone you trust fully.

The same house... a pool was not approved!

You could sell the house

Another option is to sell the house and move on from owning a frustrating rental property. However, be aware that if you try to sell the house on the open market, you may have to fix it up first in order for the agent to list it. Another option is to sell privately to a house-buying team like ours. (We buy houses in as-is condition and we’ll fix them up ourselves). 

In conclusion, when it comes to selling a property occupied by tenants, Liberty Home Buyers stands out as your trusted partner for a swift and seamless transaction. With our unwavering commitment to excellence, we go above and beyond to provide homeowners with a truly exceptional experience. Our renowned expertise in navigating the complexities of tenant-occupied properties sets us apart from the rest.

At Liberty Home Buyers, we understand that maintaining positive relationships with tenants is paramount. That’s why we prioritize open communication, respect, and transparency throughout the entire selling process. By fostering a collaborative environment, we ensure a smooth transition that minimizes disruptions for both homeowners and tenants.

We pride ourselves on our ability to make the selling process quick and hassle-free. As the saying goes, “time is money,” and we firmly believe that homeowners deserve a fast solution when it comes to selling their property. With our “we buy houses fast” approach, Liberty Home Buyers empowers homeowners to overcome the challenges associated with tenant-occupied properties and move forward confidently.

If you’re a homeowner seeking a unique and personalized selling experience for your tenant-occupied property, look no further than Liberty Home Buyers. Our team of dedicated professionals is ready to handle all the intricacies and complexities, so you can enjoy a stress-free and efficient property sale. Contact us today and experience firsthand the difference that Liberty Home Buyers can make in your journey. Let us be your trusted ally as we navigate the path to a successful and timely sale.


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I am the owner & buyer for Liberty Home Buyers in Killeen. I am local and happy to help with any questions you may have so feel free to reach out.

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