A tenant has caused damage to property, including furniture and appliances, mattresses and walls. The total cost of repair and replacement will be probably around €3000.
The tenant also helped themselves to food and drink that were set aside as private (~€100).
In addition to damage and loss that can be fairly easily quantified, the tenant smoked in the property, and left behind cigarette ends on the floors.
The property was left in a filthy condition (for example, food was left spilled on the floor, and kitchen surfaces were left sticky and stained).
Small personal items that were of low material value but hard to replace (travel souvenirs, gifts) are missing.
The property is a privately-owned home, that was let for a few months while the owners were abroad. Boundaries regarding smoking - forbidden anywhere in the property - and the use of food/drink were set out in advance, in writing.
In general, how do Dutch courts expect the value of replacement items to be calculated? It's simple in the case of a brand-new kitchen appliance that was damaged, but not clear in the case of older items.
How should damage such as for example an ink-stain or bad scratches on furniture be accounted for in a financial claim? The item is damaged, but it seems disproportionate to consider the value of the replacing the whole thing. On the other hand, its material value and its enjoyment value have both been lowered.
How should items that are of low material value but hard to replace (e.g. a travel souvenir) be accounted for in a claim?
Is it possible to put a value in the claim for breaches of contract (smoking) or general decency (spilled food, cigarette ends, chewing gum on the floors), or must all damage be strictly material in nature to qualify?
Is it possible to put a value on cleaning and putting right, even if the cost of doing so is largely personal time and effort, and not e.g. professional cleaning or repair services - and if so, how should it be calculated?
Generally speaking in The Netherlands, would it be normal practice to begin by starting any process privately (in this case, by writing to the individual setting out a claim) before engaging a lawyer, or to engage a lawyer sooner in the process?