My Tenant burned my property and skipped.?
I inherited a property from my father and chose to rent it out. I had moved way to fast and allowed someone to rent the home as she and her family was down on her luck and needed a place to rent asap. I had not gotten home insurance yet as the home was in process of being transferred to me.
I figured I could take care of that in the process while they move in again to help them. 15 days after being in the home the family left there 22 year old son home and he started a grease fire and left the stove on. The kitchen burnt up, fire department and red cross came to assist. They never called me about the fire or told me until I found out 3 days later. She advised her family is ok and they have no damage to there furniture or things other than there stove. While in a hotel the tenants left the home and stated for whatever reason left the home unsecured and some kids went into the home and has now stolen things of value. The tenant then advised me that “I am sorry we cant live here with my things being stolen I am hurt, so I am leaving and will have my things out within a week and turn the key in to myneighborr (as I am a out of town Landlord). I was going to allow the move out due to there hurt. But 20 days later they still have there things in the home (storage), has not paid any rent (not that I want it since they cant stay) but i would like to board the place up so know one gets hurt in the property or try’s to break in thinking there is something in there to take. So in short she has now asked me how much of her deposit will they get back. #1 they did not get renters insurance and #2 my home is now burnt and I have no insurance to cover it. She has now gotten a lawyer I have heard. I guess it does not pay to be nice these days. I also loaned them 2 AC units on my credit cards for a short time and they signed a note stating that they aresponsibleble for them and they will pay for them if something happen to them. They did verify that after the robbery the AC UNITS ($ 600) was still in the home and took no damage from the fire. So I have been asking for them to return them back to Lowes since they are not using them any more and they have stated they are breaking the rental agreement and leaving due to all the issues.
Note this home is in Jacksonville, FL, there deposit was $ 500, and
#1 – Should I give them the deposit back?
#2 – Should I file eviction? Seems like I should since they still have there things in there things in the home and have a key and have not paid any rent. But its live-able and they advised they are leaving. as far as I can tell they have not left.
#3 – Should I get an attorney