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  1. #1
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    Default Tenant Tore Up the House and Stole Stuff - What Will Happen

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Georgia

    I evicted a tenant from the home she was renting from me. She moved out this week. Today, I went to check the property and she had stolen the refrigerator (value > 2 grand), stolen some furniture that was part of the rental, and pried up some of the hardwood floors. Depending on whether or not I can find a match for the wood floors, I may be able to patch the floors in a 12 * 6 section (best case) and the cost would be a guestimate of $1K. If no match can be found I would have to replace all the floors which would be very expensive because the main floor is open with all the main rooms adjoining with same hardwood flooring. I called the police who filed a report and said a detective would contact me Monday. I assume my tenant did this out of revenge for her eviction, but I did not witness her do it. What kind of charges would be likely, and what it he likelihood a DA would pick up this type of case? If nothing criminal, how about civil recourse?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Naughty Tenant - Tore Up House - Stole Stuff - What Will Happen

    there should be criminal and civil actions available for this. On the criminal side, something such as theft and vandalism or destruction of property. Due to the value of the property stolen, likely a felony charge. You also have the right to sue in civil court for your damages.

    Get an estimate to have the floor repaired and hopefully you have proof of purchase for that expensive refrigerator. Receipts for the furniture are a good idea as well.

    as to the likelihood a DA will pick it up: probably depends on what the former tenant says when interviewed and what you have said, or will, that would convince the DA it is a valid complaint.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Naughty Tenant - Tore Up House - Stole Stuff - What Will Happen

    Thanks for the quick reply. I don't think I have a receipts for the fridge or the furniture, but I am sure I have photos of the items in the background of snapshots. Would that work as a second best?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Naughty Tenant - Tore Up House - Stole Stuff - What Will Happen

    that will help. $2k for a fridge is fairly expensive. Hopefully you can determine that in your pics. Furniture is going to be the same thing. If the tenant says it was $100 fridge and the furniture is Salvation Army rejects, you will have to prove your case. Now, if the tenant claims they were hers, how will you counter that claim? Is the fridge and furniture indicated as being provided by you in the lease?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Naughty Tenant - Tore Up House - Stole Stuff - What Will Happen

    Quote Quoting jk
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    that will help. $2k for a fridge is fairly expensive. Hopefully you can determine that in your pics. Furniture is going to be the same thing. If the tenant says it was $100 fridge and the furniture is Salvation Army rejects, you will have to prove your case. Now, if the tenant claims they were hers, how will you counter that claim? Is the fridge and furniture indicated as being provided by you in the lease?
    Those are interesting thoughts. The lease doesn't mention anything about appliances. She left the stove and dishwasher, but it looked like she thought about stealing the stove. It was the slide in type, not the freestanding kind, and she had disconnected the back foot and pulled it out of the counters. The fridge wasn't built in but there was cabientry built around it to specs, so you can get the exact dimensions by measuring its casing. I left the appliances because they matched and because I was moving into a place with appliances included.

    The furniture will be hard to prove. I leased the house vacant, except for the office where I left the furniture because it was big and going to be hard to remove and I was moving everything to storage anyway. She said she didn't have enough furniture, so I told her I was happy to include it in the lease. Nothing in writing. She left the desk when she left but took matching bookshelves and a credenza. In the scheme of things, it doesn't matter since the loss doesn't depreciate the house. The missing fridge is a loss because it was part of a custom kitchen. I want to sell the house sometime, and I am already looking at a loss in the sale thanks to the depressed housing market. I guess I need to contact my insurance company.

    Any suggestions on how to prove the appliances were included in the lease and were mine?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Naughty Tenant - Tore Up House - Stole Stuff - What Will Happen

    Any suggestions on how to prove the appliances were included in the lease and were mine?
    Ya, indicate it in the lease but since that ship sailed, it can be tough. A lot of witnesses that are familiar with the furniture and fridge if this goes to court. Other than that, it becomes your word against the tenant.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Naughty Tenant - Tore Up House - Stole Stuff - What Will Happen

    Thank you.

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