Suing Tenant for Damages in Small Claims Court As a Landlord

Suing a Tenant For Damages in Small Claims Court

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You and your tenants might experience numerous problems throughout the rental agreement. However, when the conflict between you cannot be resolved peacefully, you can defend your rights by filing a lawsuit against the tenants.

In this article, we will discuss when you can sue your tenants, what are the benefits of taking legal action, and how to file a small claims suit effortlessly using !

When Can You Sue a Tenant?

Unpaid RentIf the tenant still refuses to pay rent, even after numerous notices.
Unpaid Utility BillsIf the security deposit does not cover the bills, you can sue the tenant in small claims court to cover damages.
Damage to the UnitDamages include extreme dirtiness, holes in the walls, broken air conditioner, etc.
Forbidden Changes to the UnitIf the tenant made alterations to the apartment that you didn’t approve.
Lost Rent from Unexpected Move OutIf the tenant moves out before the end of the agreement and does not pay the remaining amount, you can sue them for compensation.
Using the Unit for Illegal ActivitiesIf the apartment is for illegal purposes.
Having Animals When It is Prohibited In Lease AgreementIf you have a no pet policy it is violated by the tenant.
Any Other Breaches to the LeaseIf the tenant has breached any other terms of the lease, you can sue them for physical, economic, or emotional damages.

Why Should You Sue a Tenant?

The list below outlines the advantages of taking legal action against your tenant:

  • After receiving the demand letter, the tenant might be intimidated by the legal process and choose to reach an out-of-court settlement.
  • You can receive financial compensation for damages incurred by the tenant if you win the case, particularly, if the tenant has refused to settle.
  • When you sue your tenant, and you win the case, it will be legal proof that you were right, which will clear your name about the whole dispute.
  • Your record will be strong since you sued your tenant and won. This victory will be advantageous for any future lawsuits and it will also demonstrate that you are a law-abiding landlord who understands the right processes when managing rental properties.

How to Sue Your Tenant By Yourself in Small Claims Court

  1. Estimate the amount of money the damages caused you and make sure that it is within the limits of small claims court. Small claims courts have varying claim limits in different states, so search for the limits in your state before making a decision.
  2. Write and send a demand letter to your tenant, which must contain the damages that have been done to your property and explain why the tenant is accountable for these damages.
  3. Get the required small claims court files, fill them out and submit them to small claims court.
  4. Serve your tenant, which means that you need to serve the legal court papers to your tenant to let him/her know that you are suing him/her.
  5. Make sure you are prepared and ready to defend your case on the court and show up on your court date.

You Can Sue Your Tenant with the Help of DoNotPay!

Filing a lawsuit against your tenant by yourself can be very time-consuming and complicated. Let DoNotPay do the work for you! All you need to do is:

  1. Go to DoNotPay on your web browser.
  2. Click the Sue Now product.
  3. Estimate and write the monetary compensation you are expecting.
  4. You will see the options of a demand letter, script, or small claims court forms. Choose the one you need.
  5. Tell DoNotPay about your conflict with the tenant, provide any necessary complementary information, which can be a picture of the damaged property as evidence.

That’s it! DoNotPay will also send the demand letter to your tenant on your behalf!

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