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no deposit, trashed can i get repayed

HELP! we thought we were being nice, and waived the security deposit WITH the agreement that our tenants would stay for 3 years.  after 2 years they whined and said they couldn't afford the rent.  long story short we lowered the rent, after they moved out the house was trashed.   ok, so here is where it gets complicated. we live in a different state.  they moved out, and left the keys in the house..when we got there two weeks later the house was trashed, we fixed it up, and got everything done, now we are trying to collect for damages (as we stated we would, in our lease agreement) and they are refusing to pay.   i am wondering if we are able to collect, they were not present during the final walk thru, but they left the keys, so they were done.....and they were aware "aside from normal ware and tear they would be held responsible"   we got the final cleaning bill a month later so we waited approx. 70 days to bill....can we still expect to get paid for our costs to repair??

Well, you will most likely need to sue.  Where you might wind up with a problem is that there is a 2 week period after they vacated until you inspected it.  Who's to say that the damage did not happen during that period by someone else?  That's what the tenant will argue and the burden of proof is on you.   I hope you documented the damages with photos/videos.  If you choose to sue them, you may also be able to go after them for additional money for breaching the lease (you said it was a 3 year lease- did they complete the 3 years?  it sounds not).  You didn't mention the state where the house is located.  Make sure you consult the local landlord tenant act.
Thank you.   I know it may be a problem with that two weeks, but they even admitted to the fact that they did not leave it in the proper condition. I have before they moved in pics, and the after pics.  and we had three neighbors (1 being a family member of the tenants) that walked thru with us and saw the horific sights.  what they are complaining about is 1. we waited two months to give them the bill (but we were waiting to get all of the bills from the cleaners and stuff) they said we waited too long, and now we are not entitled to  bill them. .  and 2. we never gave them the option to "fix the deficiencies" themselves, however if their lease was up on the 10th and they hadn't cleaned anything and gave us the keys aren't I entitled to hire my own cleaners??  we couldn't pass a home inspection until it was fixed up, AND the NEW buyers were disgusted with the condition the house was in, and almost backed out. So we went in and fixed everything.  do we have a case. we r in CA by the wa
When you say  "trashed", would you consider this as vandalism? If it legally falls under vandalism, then report it to the police. Check your insurance policy if you have vandalism coverage. Some insurance policies cover that, others it's an option, some exclude it.  Read your policy, if it is covered file a claim. In my case with Allstate Insurance it's an option on their Landlord's policy ( a little know fact )
You need to pursue a judgment in the venue where the damage took place, and then have the judgment registered in the state where the former tenants now reside.  After that, you go for all of the remedies that are available to a judgment creditor.
never ent without a deposit or checking on your property.
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