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Can a Lutherville-Timonium Landlord be Sued for a Renter’s Negligence?

Lutherville-Timonium Property Manager Going Over the Terms of a LeaseAs a proprietor, it can be hard to foresee when a tenant’s negligence may land you in trouble. When they signed the legal agreement, hopefully, your renter agreed to keep your Lutherville-Timonium rental home clean and properly maintained and to refrain from illegal activities. Little problems that start on the property can swiftly become complicated for you seeing as not all tenants are able to follow all of the particulars stated in the lease agreement.

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 even though you are not held liable for the criminal enterprises your tenant may commit. The outcome of any legal action taken against you hinges 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. Still, it is important to take steps right away to address any issues especially if you see something happening on your rental property. 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. Such as, 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 instances, the matter of whether or not you “should” have been mindful of a renter’s illicit activities may appear. To illustrate, if you see your tenant is self-employed before you propose signing a lease, then you must anticipate if they will continue to manage that work from the rental home. Additionally, 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

No matter what, it is always a good plan to deal with any problems a renter is causing as soon as you see them. From time to time, a property owner has limited potential in order to thoroughly deal with the matter. 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. You must have the power to actually do something about the problem in order to be held liable. Without a doubt, the inverse is that if your lease distinctly indicates that you don’t consent to loud parties or business activities on the premises and you don’t take immediate action, then you can expect to be named 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. This is why it is all-important to take prompt and proper action in order to prevent yourself from being sued by enraged neighbors. Carefully vetting your renters is another important part of evading undesired legal trouble, as is conducting repeated property evaluations. At Real Property Management Essentials, we do a lot of things for our Lutherville-Timonium property owners. Would you be interested in learning more? Please contact us online or by phone at 410-832-3138 for more information.

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