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Home Rental Horror Stories
July 9, 2018
Sometimes the strangest stories come up when it comes to insurance claims filed by homeowners. From dogs and cats turning on faucets and flooding buildings, to phone chargers or golf carts catching on fire, there are hundreds of home mishaps that can result in a claim.
Many of the oddest claims come from homeowners who rent out their Florida home during off season – only to return and find their tenants have caused havoc.
One family came back to their Florida property at the end of the summer to discover that the nearby beach had not been enough for their tenants who had created an entire indoor beach, complete with sand and water.
In many cases, Florida tenants have been found to be hoarding – whether unused items, collectibles, garbage, or even animals. In one case, a woman had to be evicted from a Florida home she was renting because her massive toy collection was crammed in so tightly it was deemed a fire hazard. In other cases, hoarding attracted pests and vermin, causing major damage to the rental home.
Kill It with Fire
Someone took the joking adage to heart in one California home and ignited spray from a Raid can with a lighter when trying to kill a large spider. The spider ran around the apartment and set it on fire, causing major damage. Similar events have occurred in Arizona, Texas, Kansas, and Seattle. This could absolutely happen in Florida, where large banana and wolf spiders abound.
There Goes the Neighborhood
It’s not just the landlord who has to put up with unruly tenants, it’s the neighbors. One Glenvar Heights neighborhood had to endure damage done to the entire neighborhood by tenants of a real-life Animal House rented to students who held wild block parties.
Common Tenant Damage
Some of the more routine ways a tenant can cause damage to your home include:
Pets chewing on items or toileting on the carpet or wood floor
Water being left on unattended and overflowing a sink or tub
Wild activity during parties thrown in your home by the tenant
Break-ins due to tenant not properly securing the property when away
Paint, carpet, floor, and wall damage done by children of tenants
Protecting Your Investment
There are several things you can do to help reduce your risk of tenant damage if you choose to rent out your Florida home:
Request a list of all persons who will be in the home, and run background checks on all potential tenants
Clearly restrict pets on the property; if you choose to permit pets, check with your insurance carrier to see if they have any breed restrictions
Clarify in the rental agreement what activities are permitted, and lay out specific rules to help avoid annoying your neighbors (no late-night parties, etc.)
Carry landlord insurance to help protect your home in case a tenant causes damage
Renting out your Florida home should be a positive experience for everyone. Careful screening of tenants and consideration of using a property manager can help you avoid tenant horror stories.