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Can a Germantown Landlord be Sued for a Renter’s Negligence?

Germantown Property Manager Going Over the Terms of a LeaseA tenant’s negligence might land you in hot water, and as a homeowner, it’s difficult to predict when that may happen. Hopefully, your renter agreed to keep your Germantown rental home clean and properly maintained and to refrain from illegal activities when they signed the rental agreement. Small problems that begin on the property can rapidly grow into complicated problems for you because not all tenants can live up to the conditions in the lease agreement.

Even though you are not held accountable for the fraudulent ventures your tenant may engage in, 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 end result of any legal action taken against you will likely rely on 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

Now and then you’ll have tenants that are skilled at hiding shady activities from their landlords. For all that, if you do stumble upon illicit activities happening on your rental property, it is vital that you take steps to correct any matters at hand. 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. To illustrate, 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”

The question of whether or not you “should” have known about a renter’s illicit activities rarely arises. An example of this could be that if you were to realize that your tenant is self-employed before you furnish them with a lease, then you should expect that they will be managing that business in the rental home. What’s more, 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. Undoubtedly, if you’ve done due diligence and did not find any signs of past problems, that will increase your likelihood of avoiding liability.

Addressing the Problem

It is a smart idea to attend to any problems a renter is producing as soon as you hear about them. Every so often, a property owner has limited power so as to fully restore the matter in question. 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. In order to be held liable, you must show that you possess the capability to actually do something about the matter in question. The other side of the coin is that if your lease clearly states that you don’t permit loud parties or business activities and you don’t deal with it immediately, you could be on the hook for a lawsuit.

In Conclusion

The specific terms and language used in the lease is an important first step toward holding your tenants accountable for any nuisance or illicit activities. Taking a fast and acceptable action is also crucial to keeping yourself from being sued by irate neighbors. Carefully screening your renters is another key part in avoiding unwanted legal concerns, as is fulfilling constant and continual property evaluations. At Real Property Management Investor’s Choice, we do a lot of things for our Germantown property owners. Would you like to know more? Please contact us online or by phone at 615-810-9578 for more information.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.