As a Pittsburgh landlord, have you ever had a tenant severely damage or destroy one of your properties? I certainly have, and I can relate to how frustrating, stressful, and expensive it can be.
In fact, extensive property damage is one of the top 3 most common concerns of all landlords and property managers. This is because it hits both the top and bottom line: revenue from rent stops coming in when an apartment can’t be rented due to its condition, and expenses to repair the property go up significantly in order to make it livable again. This often means that selling a damaged rental property is the best option.
When the damage is discovered
One of the most troubling things about property damage is that it can be difficult to predict, and it’s often discovered at the worst time: when a tenant moves out. While it’s good that the problem-tenant is gone, it’s bad because you aren’t receiving any rent from that unit. Another time landlords often discover significant property damage is during a maintenance call. Personally, I’ve gone to repair a broken garbage disposal and walked into a newly-renovated apartment that was almost unrecognizable!
What can you do when you find property damage?
The answer to this question depends on when you find out about the damage, and what the terms of your lease say. If severe property damage is found after a tenant moves out, the landlord may be able to keep all or a portion of the tenant’s security deposit. Of course, this will be easier if you used a move-in checklist to document the condition of the apartment before signing a lease. If you’re unsure what you may be able to pursue legally, be sure to have your attorney review the terms of your lease.
If your tenant is causing significant damage to the property and there is still time left on the lease, you may be facing a more difficult situation. Some leases have a clause about routine property inspections, and the right of the landlord to take corrective action if needed. Not all leases are designed this way though. Check with an attorney to see what your rights are as a landlord. And, if you don’t currently conduct property inspections, consider adding that to your future leases.
Sell a Damaged Rental Property for Cash
Regardless of when you discover property damage, you always have the option to sell your house. Given that it will need extensive repairs, it likely won’t appeal to a large percentage of buyers. That said, listing the property on the MLS with an agent may not be the best approach. An alternative solution, which is becoming more popular in Pittsburgh, is selling your rental property to a cash buyer. These buyers can pay cash for a property in any condition, without any contingencies. This means you won’t have to waste time listing it with an agent on the MLS, only to find a buyer who backs out because they can’t get a loan due to the condition of the property. This can significantly delay your ability to sell the house, meaning you continue to pay taxes, insurance, utilities, and mortgage payments until you find a new buyer.
Get Rid of Your Damaged Rental
We know how difficult it is to own damaged rental property. And we know how quickly the costs of a vacant, damaged house can add up! We work with landlords like you every day to buy unwanted rental properties so that you can remove yourself from the liability of owning a vacant, damaged house. If you’re interested in selling your rental property, fill out our form below. Someone will get back to you within 24 hours to learn more about your situation and how we can help.