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Tenant ending lease and leaving  a huge mess and damages

I Live in MA.   One of my Tenants had signed a 1 year lease which will end on May 31st 2011.  There was a private program paying her rent for her but they were not involved in the leasing process, I did not have any agreements with them, only with the tenant.  The tenant told me one week ago that a housig authority had called her and said she was finally going to get housing and had to move in one week. I told her I could not let her out of her lease. She told me that she had to move and she was not responsible for her lease because she does not even pay her own rent. I told her that she is responsible because she signed a lease. A few days later she spoke to her case worker at the agency and told me that they said not to worry about it and they will take care of everything. The I got an email form her agency that they will only pay for march.   It is now Feb 20. The tenant moved out 2 days ago. I have no forwarding address. They did not leave the keys. They put a pad lock  on one of the doors and on the porch which I do not have keys for.  I can see onto the porch that there is piles of trash. There are many damages thorugh out the apartment. I called her and left a voicemail asking when she was going to come back with the keys and also clean up.   Her boyfriend called my husband and said that  he would talk to her and they would try to come back in a couple days.   We took pictures of everything. We had printed out a security deposit form and added it to the lease when she signed it and it shows that there were no damages when she moved in.   I know that I have 30 days to hold the security deposit but I don't know if it is 30 days from when she abandoned the property or 30 days from when her lease is actually up.  nd if I never recive payment forApril or May and am unable to find a tenant do I keep the security deposit and sue for the remaining balance owed on rent or do I return the remaining security after fixing damamges and sue for the full amount of rent?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.   Thank you.
1 Comment

First things first, you need to get into that property and get it ready to show, so you can get a new tenant in there and stop losing money.  Send her a breakdown of the expenses that justify why you're keeping her security deposit, and do it as soon as possible.  Alert the housing program of the terrible condition the tenant left your rental property in, and push them to pay for as much as possible, and of course do what you can to get March's rent from them.  Otherwise, I think you'll have a hard time collecting any additional money from the tenant, so I would start focusing on getting a new (better) tenant in there as quickly as possible.
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