Can I sue for damages & backrent?

Can I sue for damages & backrent?
My tenants moved out pretty much during the night. They owe me 5 mo rent. I was in the process of eviction but they moved before I could send paper work. They were served a 14 day notice to quit as wel as a 30. Both went unanswered.
I did not have a security deposit but the place is filthy and they made many unauthorized changes. They painted as well as changed the locks on me. There is pen/crayon all over walls and holes.
I really can’t afford a lawyer and don’t think they’d pay even /judgment.
Should I just use Small Claims? Sue for the max of $2000? Can I sue for damages to repair and paint the place again? Do I need to have possesion given to me before I can clean up and re-rent? Thank you!

One thought on “Can I sue for damages & backrent?

  1. Re: Can I sue for damages & backrent?
    Considering what they did, it’s not a bad idea to go ahead in housing court and get a judgment of possession so that they can’t come back and haunt you. Keep in mind that the housing court can also give you a money judgment for the damages as a part of the eviction case; it may have to do some procedural stuff to get it right, but certainly tell the housing judge you want a money judgment too. Good luck.

    David Baker
    Law Office of David Baker
    236 Huntington Avenue, Room 306
    Boston, MA 02115

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