Registered: 1186113626 Posts: 1
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I ask, how many landlords actually sue in court for damages?
Hello, I'm new to Landlord.com although we've been landlords for over 10 years. We have always found it just easier to move on, removing the unpleasant tenant from our lives and writing off what we can on our taxes. I welcome your responses & thank you for your time. Recently, a tenant gave notice after only 6 months. Then she sued us for her high electric bills over the summer months. Needless to say, we kind of rolled our eyes over that since everyone knows running the AC all the time will send your bill sky high. Anyway, after she moved out, we found a lot of damage and cleaning needed at the property. Well, we just did it and moved on. Cost was about $2000 and felt even if we counter-sued, we'd never be able to collect, even if we got a judgment. We found our Tenant less than honest and a bit of a scammer. After sending out an accurate and itemized repair/cleaning list with actual receipts, leaving the security disbursement in a negative, this Tenant actually upped her small claim against us to include the full security, stating we lied. Well, still waiting for court, we have since counter-sued, but just find the whole deal time consuming, lengthy and in the end, we'll prevail and will end up with a worthless judgment.
Registered: 1169270040 Posts: 3,814
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Personally I only persue judgments against tenants I know are collectable or I think may be collectable in the future. If I know the tenant was a deadbeat and always will, it is a waste of time and money going after them. (At least in this state, because even if they get a job, by the time I track them down and start to garnish wages, they quit and I have to start over.) However, since your tenant already filed a court case against you, it was in your best interest to countersue her. The judge will have to hear arguements on both sides of both claims this way. You will be able to show how she was a less than ideal tenant and what damages she caused. I think you have a much better chance of winning than if you just let her sue alone. (Without putting up a fight, the judge may think you feel as if you really do owe her.) Good luck in court.