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

Vinton Property Manager Going Over the Terms of a LeaseAs a property owner, it can be difficult to know when a tenant’s negligence might land you in hot water. When they sign the agreement, hopefully, your renter agreed to keep your Vinton rental home clean and properly maintained and to refrain from illegal activities. Not all tenants will live up to the provisions in the lease, and troubles that begin on the property can immediately stretch into troubles for you.

Though you are not held responsible for the illicit operations your tenant may take, 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 implication of any legal action taken against you will presumptively lean 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

Every now and then, tenants are very proficient at hiding shady activities from their landlords. But despite that, if you do determine something arising on your rental property, it is critical to take means instantly to deal with the dilemmas. 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”

In some circumstances, the matter of whether or not you “should” have acknowledged a renter’s illicit activities may emerge. For example, if you recognize your tenant is self-employed before you provide them a lease, there is some perplexity about whether or not that conveys that you should have anticipated they would be managing that profession in the rental home. Similarly, 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. Obviously, if you’ve concluded due diligence and didn’t encounter any corroboration of past dilemmas, that will surge your likelihood of avoiding liability.

Addressing the Problem

It is constantly a great idea to attend to any setbacks a renter is making directly after you find out about them. But every now and then, a landowner has a little means to totally fix the adversity. 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. With the aim to be liable, you must have the capacity to truly do something about the predicament. Certainly, the flip side is that if your lease made it evident that you don’t allow loud celebrations or corporate activities and you don’t take action, you might be accountable in 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. At the same time, taking immediate and appropriate action is also critical to keeping 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 performing regular property evaluations. At Real Property Management Colonial, we do all of this for our Vinton property owners – and more. Would you like to know more? Please contact us online or by phone at 540-595-7411 for more information.

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