Did you do a background/credit check before renting to these tenants? Do they actually own or still own the "several properties"? "They were awful tenants" Why were they awful tenants? If the tenants have sent numerous complains to housing court, did you get notice of what's wrong before hand. Did you do any inspections during the lease term to find any problems? Why would the tenants find anything wrong to report to housing court anyway. You do keep your property in good conditions and repair? So file for eviction and seek a judgement for moneys due and follow up to collect in any way you can. Go after any source that can be attached to satisfy your judgement against them.
The apt was/is in great condition (otherwise they would move into their own property around the corner) They made up complaints AFTER we gave them notice to not renew their lease. They were awful enough to us and the property during the tenancy for us to not want to renew. We did check the references, of course.