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Tenants left house without notice

Our tenants left the house without notice and did not pay for three months. What steps do we need to take to get our money back. Also, the police did a search in the house and arrested the father, it is since then that the problems started. The house is a mess, they left a lot of trash behind. Do we go in with the police to file a claim, or take just pictures ourselves?  Thanks

Always take pictures, yourself. you can spend the money and try and take them to court to get possession. If they have given you keys and possession, I would concentrate on getting the property up and ready for the next tenant. Be careful who you rent to, checkk them out thoroughly and hopoefully you will not have to go through this again.
First thing is knowing where they are living now. Then attempt to contact them in regards to how they intent to handle the cleaning, personal property and cleaning along with the past due rent. Best bet is to do this via certified letter or e-mail.  If they're response is unsatisfactory, more that likely court is the next step. For that, they have to be served. Every attempt you make looks good in court. If you can't find them, you can take the cleaning, vacating without notice out of the security deposit depending on the lease agreement. Rekeying is a must! Tenants who leave in a hurry quite often return to get personal items left behind using copied keys if need be.
Document ALL charges.  Was there a deposit on the unit?  I have a blog about how to collect previous tenant debt. or you can email me at  Good luck, Bill
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