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

Belton 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 Belton rental home clean and properly maintained and to refrain from illegal activities. Since not all tenants will live up to the stipulations in the lease, and the obstacles that start on the property can rapidly turn into difficult problems for you.

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 result of any legal action taken against you will be contingent 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

Occasionally there are tenants that are experts at hiding shady activities from their landlords. Nevertheless, if you happen to find something illegal happening on your rental property, it is critical to take urgent action in order to solve any issues. 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”

Occasionally, the matter of whether or not you “should” have been conscious of a renter’s illicit activities may become apparent. Like if you notice your tenant is self-employed before you produce a lease, then you must think that they will administer that work from the rental home. In addition, 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. Naturally, if you’ve done due diligence and could not discover any prior problems, then that will give you a better chance of avoiding liability.

Addressing the Problem

In any event, it’s always a great plan to focus on fixing any problems a renter is making as soon as you find out about them. Occasionally, a property owner has a limited capability to rectify the issue altogether. 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 possess the authority to do something about the issue in order to be considered liable. You might be on the hook in a lawsuit if your lease makes it clear that you don’t allow loud parties or business activities and you don’t take swift action.

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. For the meantime, taking an instant and needed action is paramount to avert the potential scenario of being sued by furious neighbors. Screening your prospective renters cautiously is another necessary part of steering clear of unwelcome legal problems, as is doing periodic property evaluations. At Real Property Management Apex, we provide a lot of services for our Belton property owners – and more. Would you like to discover more about this? Please contact us online or by phone at 254-732-1599 for more information.

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