Withholding of a tenant’s security deposit is probably the number one reason a property manager can end up on the other end of the lawsuit or even in court. There are plenty of precautions and procedures which a prudent management company or manager can implement which will help prevent this case from occurring. Moreover, a property administration course or continuing education in the technicalities of proper statutory procedures go a long way in preventing a lawsuit plus subsequent lost time, energy and also money. Finally, an owner is in charge of the acts of a property supervisor and could find themselves in court too if the manager has violated the law, has not properly counseled the owner or properly handled the tenant’s protection deposit.
Implement Minimal Procedures to become Prepared
A prudent property supervisor has been educated to take the necessary precautions and follow the statutory guidelines intended for tenant’s issues like the return associated with security deposits. The necessary property home inspections, the data collection of the condition of the property, how much money a manager is allowed to deduct, the statutory procedure for deductions, as well as the proper method of communicating all of these steps to the vacating tenant is tantamount to a successful defense against tenant lawsuits. If a property manager has been doing all of these things with diligence there exists a very good chance that they will have the ultimate preparation in the unfortunate occasion when they get sued.
Pre-Tenancy Property Inspections Help Prevent Post-Tenancy Problems
Prudent property managers walk-through the property with the brand-new tenant while there is no furniture or even obstacles in the unit. The property manager takes photos, logs inspection data about each and every room in the device, details the exterior of the property including any issues that exist and gets the new tenant to sign away or agree to the condition report. This particular same report is used at the end of the tenancy to compare and contrast the particular pre and post condition position. Here’s more in regards to Main Street Properties Property Management check out the internet site.
With photos and a signed inspection report it is difficult for a renter to claim that conditions that exist today weren’t there when the tenancy started. Moreover, in some states notice of a pre-inspection at the end of the tenancy will be given to tenants such that they are permitted to take advantage of the pre-inspection to repair or clear the unit which would otherwise be a deduction against their security deposit. This procedure, if properly conducted, actually prevents a lot of post tenancy issues because the tenant is fully aware of any conditions which might result in a deposit discount, and they are given ample time and opportunity to correct the issues.
Pre-Tenancy Home Inspections Help Prepare Property Administrators for Court
In the unfortunate occasion that a tenant disputes a property manager’s security deposit deduction and actually files a lawsuit the manager who has taken the time to takes photos and record inspection data will be amply prepared for the litigation. The manager should prepare their file in chronological order, should print out each and every picture and date and label every condition. Importantly, each person who observed any conditions at the property such as the gardener, the painter, the cleaner should all be contacted and asked for a witness statement. It is easy to get a statement via a sworn affidavit with the same time ask these people to make by themselves available to be witnesses in courtroom. To be clear each property supervisor should have the following in preparation associated with any hearing:
1) A complete home file in chronological order including photos, invoices, and paid receipts;
2) A complete history of the written communications with the tenants included in the property file;
3) A list of witnesses along with contact information;
4) Sworn affidavits from each witness; and
5) A thorough review of the facts and conditions surrounding the issues, facts and tenant complaints by the staff members who addressed the tenant.
Preparation is Powerful and Usually Successful
Professional property or home managers who take the time, energy and effort to adequately keep information of their properties and tenants will find that this preparation is worth its weight in gold come litigation time. Once a tenant becomes familiar with a good adequately prepared opponent they may reconsider their attempts to sue. The best defense for managers or administration companies is educating themselves within the proper procedures and record-keeping that will assist them prepare for this process. If the supervisor has followed the law, has implemented a detailed record-keeping system, prepares plus presents an immaculate file to the hearing judge or court then your likelihood of success of defending one of those lawsuits is much higher than if they hadn’t.
An Owner May be Liable for the particular Acts of its Agent
Both lawful and common law principals suggest that a hirer or principal of an agent may be liable for the serves of the agent. Property management businesses who fail to follow the statutory recommendations regarding landlord tenants laws might find themselves in court on occasion. If a manager has attempted to take advantage of a tenant (not uncommon) or offers committed statutory violations that could result in liabilities for the unsuspecting owner. Even though the owner would ultimately have a treatment against the property manager this would be a very unfortunate situation for the owner. The proprietor can file a cross-complaint against the manager, but in either case the master gets dragged into a suit since the manager was negligent or reckless. Needless to say an owner or home manager doesn’t want to be in this scenario in the first place, thus, it is important that the manager follow statutory guidelines and correct inspection procedures.
A Real Estate Attorney on Staff is Ideal and Can Maintain Owners Out of Trouble
Professional home management companies who have a real estate attorney on staff have an benefit in these circumstances. A real estate lawyer has the training, expertise, and procedural knowledge to help prevent these situations before they get out of hand. Moreover, in the event that these cases escalate an attorney will be able to prepare and handle the situation much better than somebody without those type skills.