As a landlord, it can be quite a challenge to determine situations where a tenant’s negligence could possibly land you in trouble. During the time they signed the lease. Hopefully, your renter agreed to keep your Hunters Creek rental home clean and properly maintained and to refrain from illegal activities. However, not all tenants will stay true to the terms in the lease, and complications that begin on the property can rapidly become problems for you.
Even though you are not deemed accountable for the unlawful actions your tenant may do, if you find out that your rental home is being used to conduct business, and your owners’ association does not allow this activity, your neighbors could hold you accountable. The consequence of any legal action taken against you will probably be subject to two things: how much you knew about the problem (and when), and whether or not you took steps to stop it.
How and When You Knew
From time to time, tenants are great at hiding shady activities from their landlords. However, if you do notice something that is amiss on your rental property, it is vital that you take necessary actions immediately to approach the concerns. In some regions, if your renter does something dangerous or illegal as a result of ongoing activities of which you were aware, you could be held liable in court. For example, if you knew one of your tenants was using your rental home as a daycare and one of your renter’s or their clients hurt someone, themselves, or damaged personal property, the court could be more likely to hold you liable for any damages.
The Slippery Slope of “Should”
There are instances where the question of whether or not you “should” have an inkling about a renter’s illicit activities may arise. For example, if you know your tenant is self-employed prior to your offer of a lease, there is some misunderstanding about whether or not that means that you should have presumed they would be doing that business in the rental home. Likewise, if your renter had been evicted for loud parties in the past, you may be held accountable since you should have checked with their previous landlord about it. Indubitably, if you’ve done due diligence and didn’t find any evidence of past problems, that will maximize your likelihoods of avoiding liability.
Addressing the Problem
The safest way to go about this is to address any problem a renter makes as earliest as possible. However, there are times when a property owner has a low ability to solve the issue entirely. If a tenant is creating a nuisance for the neighbors but hasn’t actually broken the terms of the lease, you can’t be held responsible for failing to evict them. So as to be liable, you got to have the authority to act on it honestly. Apparently, the flip side is that if your lease clearly states that you prohibit flashy and loud get-togethers or business goings-on and you don’t do anything about it, you could be on the hook in a lawsuit.
The specific terms and language used in the lease is an essential first step toward holding your tenants accountable for any nuisance or illicit activities. Simultaneously, taking direct and suitable action is also critical to saving yourself from being sued by angry neighbors. Screening your renters carefully is another essential part of keeping yourself out of unwelcome legal trouble, as is carrying out regular property evaluations. At Real Property Management Freedom, we do all of this for our Hunters Creek property owners – and more. Would you like to learn more? Please contact us online or by phone at 407-624-4706 for more information.