Should messy guests pay when next vacation rental tenants walk away?

Rent it Right

Q: I rent my vacation home to weekenders and weeklong residents on a regular basis. I collect a $250 deposit and allot five hours for cleaning between guest stays. Last month, the departing guests left the place so dirty and messy that the cleaners couldn’t finish in time. When the new guests arrived, it wasn’t done and they left, refusing to pay any rent. Can I sue the departed tenants for that lost rent? –John C.

A: Whether you can sue your messy guests depends on what your lease says about the security deposit.