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brookeroo

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I have been having issues with a tenant that I have. To make a long story short, at the time I visited the property to pick up their (yet again) late payment, they informed me that at some point they saw a mouse in the house. That they also had concerns that their were birds in the attic. I informed them that I would speak with my husband and call them back to find a time to come within the next week to take care of the issue. She said they already put traps out but have yet to catch it however have not seen it since.

I called them last night and left a message asking them to call me so we could set up a time to come to the property while they were there. Also explained that my husband wanted to inspect the roof for openings to the attic and the vents/chimney.

Despite the fact that it's written in the lease that I can enter the property at any time, I don't want them to say that we entered the property without their knowledge and stole something. We did not hear back from them but drove past the house at 12pm today on the way to eat lunch and saw their car there. (Their other car was supposedly totaled (which I know it was in an accident but don't know if it was truly totaled. I found out online that they are being sued for repossession on it as well) so we know they were probably home.

When driving past we also saw that the gutters needed cleaned out so my husband decided he was just going to take the ladder and do the roof stuff since we had plans tomorrow and knowing them, they would call us and ask us to do it last minute and all the sudden it would be an emergency. If they came out and allowed him in, then great. Upon cleaning the gutters and such once he got to the backyard he noticed that the window to the back screen door was broken. There were still shards of glass in the back door. All the glass was cleaned up so I know that it was not done that day or that someone attempted to break in that day which also means they chose not to inform me of it if someone did attempt to break in or they did the damage themselves.

Just not sure how to handle this. Should I send them a notice that I am aware of the damage, so that I have something in writing should we have to go to court? I know that it is only a matter of time that we will go to court. She currently owes her previous landlord $1600. She was court ordered to pay her back and has yet to do so. Before you ask, she supplied me with a false landlord initially and this was her first eviction which was in process at the time she was trying to move in. I had no way of knowing until after she signed with me. At this point, I'm just trying to document everything to the best of my ability.

The previous landlord which I eventually found contact information for on property records said that they broke a huge brand new window upon departing the property during the eviction but she was unable to prove that they did it themselves so the court would not order them to pay for it.

Recommendations on how to document this. Should I send them a letter so that they know I'm aware of it before the stuff hits the fan? Should I mention it? Send them a text about it? Or just document it? I was thinking about attempting to take pictures.
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