A 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 Stonington rental home clean and properly maintained and to refrain from illegal activities when they signed the lease. Not all tenants will live up to the terms and conditions in the lease agreement, and the problems that begin on the property can quickly grow into big 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 if you are not found accountable for your tenant’s unlawful business schemes. The end result of any legal action taken in opposition to you will be decided by 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 so often, some tenants may show they are talented 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. For instance, 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”
It is not very often that the issue of whether or not you “should” have been aware of a renter’s illicit activities may come about. 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. On top of that, 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. Without a doubt, if you’ve done your due diligence and couldn’t find any proof of previous wrongdoings, then your chances of avoiding liability will increase.
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. But once in a while, a property owner has a limited means to entirely correct the problem. 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. To be considered liable, you must possess the ability to actually do something about the matter. You might be facing a lawsuit if your lease explicitly states that you don’t give permission for loud parties or business activities and you hold off on taking action.
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 Hartford Metro/Greater New London, we do all of this – and more, for our Stonington property owners. Would you like to discover more about this? Please contact us online or by phone at 860-316-4388 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.