CALL 6: Local landlords say many tenants trash properties

INDIANAPOLIS -- Central Indiana landlords want people to know that while there are plenty of bad landlords out there, there are also a lot of bad tenants.

“The tenants tearing things up, the damage, oh my gosh,” said Broker Jim Hotka of Rainbow Realty Group. “They move in, tear it apart, and move out. “

Hotka showed Call 6 how some tenants leave their properties when they move out including trash, broken appliances, old clothes, stained carpet, and holes in the wall.

“I do see the profits diminishing each year,” said Hotka. “It’s just harder and harder to find good tenants who will budget, be responsible and won’t tear the unit up when they move out.”

CALL 6 | What are your rights as a renter?

Hotka said they also have a problem with people breaking into vacant properties.

“The illegal dumping is horrible in this city,” said Hotka. “We spent several hundreds of thousands of dollars last year cleaning up illegal dumping.”

Hotka said it can still be difficult to prove in court that a tenant caused the damages.

“You would think the courts would believe us, but we have to have tons of proof,” said Hotka. “It’s just a lot of administrative costs to run a real estate business now.”

A Mooresville landlord has similar concerns with his properties.

“Basically, it's annoying when tenants don't do what they agree to in a lease,” said Shane Williams, operating manager for Williams Rental Properties. “ This includes not paying on time, moving another adult in without notification, trashing property that is not theirs, or they leave without fulfilling their full lease terms."

Williams said a good tenant is responsible and treats the property well.

“Do what you say you will do and most importantly be sure to communicate with your landlord,” said Williams. “Never hide from them."

The law requires landlords fix repairs in a reasonable amount of time , although landlords say many people don’t understand that.

“They don’t realize we are running a business and we try to prioritize with furnaces and water first, but they want it fixed right now,” said Hotka. “There’s times that’s frustrating.”

Hotka said it’s to your benefit to give your landlord some notice when moving.

“They just up and move out in the middle of the night, so that’s frustrating because they’re responsible for any damage to that property until you find it vacant,” said Hotka. “So maybe someone broke in and vandalized it, but that tenant is still responsible until we get the keys back.”

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