We had someone "renting/watching" our parents former home in another state. This person came highly recommended and paying only $400/month for utilities. This person needed a place and we thought we needed someone to keep an eye on it and do a bit of upkeep/maintenance. We had an informal hand drawn up "contract". Wrong Wrong Wrong - the renter from HELL. Damage in every room: holes in walls, scratched wood floors, sloppy painting, holes in screens, pet feces/urine damage--floor needs to be replaced, broken tools, "missing" items (read stolen items). We documented including pictures of all the damage and missing items and trying to collect money from said "renter" without much success. Does anyone have any ideas on how to recover money from this person from all the damages/stolen items? I was thinking small claims court? Or should this go into that "live and learn" category?