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I recently rented my home to a coworker, which was a mistake right off the bat. Before they even moved in, but after the lease was signed, they sold all their appliances from their home which was being foreclosed on. They swapped my chandelier with theirs (saw it online in a picture of their house for sale), cut a doggie door in my French door, removed shelving, put up tv mounts, painted murals on the kid's walls, and "trimmed" the bushes down to nothing. That was just the beginning. This was my first time being a Landlord btw. I am now concerned about renters insurance. I hadn't even thought about it because I had been a homeowner for so long. The house has a pool and they have a 3 year old. My 3 year old nephew fell in a pool and almost drowned. The sitter got sued. I am now worried about myself. Can I shut the pool down until they produce renters insurance? It has a gate and I was going to disable the pump to deter swimming. Is that legal? I have seen what they are capable of and I don't need another problem on my hand such as a lawsuit. I tried to evict them but they got off on a technicality. Help!

5 REPLIES

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THEY need the renters insurance to cover their personal property losses (in case of fire, theft, storm damage, etc.). YOU need liability coverage and rental property insurance to protect your assets and your investment. With regards to pool, review your rental agreement and if the pool was included as an amenity provided, you might need to maintain pool. Ask your insurance agent if you need more coverage than a standard Liability policy would allow. If pool was not included in lease, it seems to me you could disable it -- but I am not a lawyer. You may be able to amend your agreement (in writing!) and reduce their monthly rent in exchange for excluding the pool. In either case, GET LIABILITY COVERAGE. If you haven't figure it out already, eviction should always be a last resort since it could mean you have a vengeful tenant inside your property. Also, know your landlord rights and know your lease. Free pub available for state of GA is available online. Read, read, read books on renting property, screening (& evicting) tenants. Good Luck.
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First of all never to family or friends, 2nd do a TAW tenant at will, thirty days notice either way, and a credit check, what makes you think they will pay you if they do not pay there own bills. go on craigslist and rent it that way, LISTEN to the people that correspond and go with your gut feeling also if you have a problem wave that credit check in there face and will get rid of the rif raf, go to the local hospital and pin the rental on there board, that pool is just to much risk for me fill it in, and when they move in there is a checklist and make sure that they check it and sign off on it, that is what you will need if you keep there security deposit, good luck
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My only advice would be talking to a professional.  You seemingly have a tenant that is causing you issues and will continue to do so.  I would not listen to the aforementioned advice of waving credit checks in faces and posting your house at hospitals.  Keep in mind this is coming from the person that does not distinguish between the proper usage of the word "their" and "there".  Just my 2 cents...

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Get a lawyer ASAP.  If you know another landlord in your court district ask them for a reference.  Or check your local court's website for unlawful detainer cases and see which lawyers are the most popular.  I guarantee the lawyer's commonly used by other landlords will be able to help, assuming you have a signed, written lease, maybe even if you don't.

 

Just because they were able to escape eviction on a technicality as you say, the case can be retried over and over. 

 

I have a rental with a pool.  As long as you provided the proper safe environment when the house was leased, then you should be OK.  Your lease must also state that the tenant must abide by the laws and regulations that govern pool safety. or something to that effect.  For example, if you have a fence around the pool and the tenant takes it down without your knowledge and against the terms of the lease, then they should be found at fault for any accidents.  Of course, that won't stop anyone from suing you.

 

You don't need renter's insurance.  You need rental property insurance.  USAA sells this.  It's a new kind of policy for them.  Suggest adding the option of rental loss coverage - does not seem to cost very much.

I hated being a landlord and would never ever do it again. Pretty much your well kept house will never be quite the way you liked or have it as some people have a different idea of home. All of that stuff except the trimming of the bushes should be covered in the lease agreement and they should return the walls to the way they were before they moved in such as repair holes and paint murals or you get to keep the deposit.

 

Do not disable the pool pump. This makes the pool WORSE and when you get ready to sell the home it will be an ugly eyesore that you will have to pay more to fix or be prepared to take less on what you want for the home. You may want to look into a local cheap pool service that can come around and make sure that the pool is cleaned or what not. The pool is a legal nightmare and if you disable the pump the health department or other local code to lead to fines or a reason for the renters to not treat the pool well.

 

I would recommend you contact USAA to see about coverage for the house concerning the renters. Generally renters insurance is for replacement of their items in the house such as furniture and electronics. It will not cover any of the house's structures or damages from water (like a water heater or airconditioning unit) or natural disasters like tornadoes, hail, earthquakes and what not.

 

I would also recommend looking into perhaps a management company who can help you.