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Tenant's Violated 1 Year Lease

I need some advice...I rented a place that needed some work done to it.  This couple said that they would paint and buff the hard wood floors in exchange for the deposit, so I agreed.  They moved in with paying only 1 months rent & they wanted to sign a 1 year lease.  They lived there for 3 months, always late, last months she told me that they didn't think that they could make it here and didn't know if they could follow through with the lease...I asked them to give me a 30 day notice & would let them out of the lease.  I asked them if they would mind me putting the house up on the market, I just have gotten tired of dealing with tenants.  They agreed.  Well I just found out yesterday that they split...the realtor went to show the house and it was a total mess. The electricity & water was shut off. They never put the water in their name as agreed on the lease & they racked up a 3 month bill in my name. I'm facing forclosure from these tenants & then one's before...Help!!!!
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This is one of those dreaded scenario's that Landlords face. I would suggest taking them to court and at least get a judgment against them for the damages and the unpaid rent. Take pictures of the damages and make sure that you show your rent ledger (the place you record the rent and expenses). Did you ask for a security deposit? In the future should you rent the property again, make sure that you do thorough back ground checks. Use a good lease as well. There is a good free application on this site. Also, for minimal cost, you can get great coverage with the Lease on this web-site as well. Good luck on this. You may be able to find a good tenant who is willing to make all the repairs in concession for reduced rent but make sure that this is spelled out in the Lease! And don't forget credit and a background check.
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