As a property owner, you have responsibilities. You not only want to ensure that your property is attractive and functional so that you can find and retain tenants, you need to keep your tenants happy with thorough communication. However, property owners have responsibilities beyond caring for tenants. If a tenant gets hurt on your property and it’s deemed to be due to your negligence, you will need to be financially responsible. Even with insurance, you could experience a legal case that could cost you time and money. Professional rental property management can come between you and your tenants in a positive way, by reducing your personal liability.
Why Landlords Get Sued
As a landlord, you’re placing yourself in a vulnerable position. Through your actions or your inaction, you could be sued. One common reason that landlords experience lawsuits is an argument over eviction. Tenants are understandably upset when they learn that they’re going to lose their rental home, and they may feel like you’ve treated them unfairly.
Landlord inaction can also be cause for a lawsuit. If you forget to add a new tread on the front step and a tenant slips on the stairs, you could find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit for negligence. Did you update the lock on the door when it broke? If you’re not careful, someone could break in due to your negligence. When you fail to complete a particular maintenance or repair task, there can be very real consequences for your tenants and for your own finances.
How a Rental Property Management Company Can Help
From the initial contact with a tenant to the last, if you’re working with a property management company you know that you’re working with someone who’s seen it all before. A property management company knows how to find the right tenants for your property while abiding by anti-discrimination laws. The company also knows how to set up strong and well-documented communication systems and rental payments so that if you do need to evict a tenant, all of the documentation is right there.
A property management company is also there to manage ongoing maintenance and sudden repairs so that you don’t forget to mow the lawn or repair that dangerously-clogged dryer. Safety and security concerns that a property management company can address include:
- Changing locks and updating the security system
- Checking safety equipment such as smoke alarms
- Installing and maintaining lighting
- Ensuring that tenants follow designated rules such as removing lint from dryers
- Checking all appliances on a regular basis
- Cleaning walkways
- Maintaining porches, decks, and stairways
- Performing a move in, move out review
A Rental Property Management Company is Your Support System
When you work with a rental property management company, you create a community to manage your property investments. The property management company is responsible for the oversight of people and properties. While you could still be liable for a problem with your property, the property management company could also be liable. By adding a layer of organization between you and your properties, you also add another party who is responsible for maintaining that property.
When you’re looking for a rental property management company that knows the issues of the Seattle area markets, contact Lori Gill and Associates. We’re here to support you as you build your property portfolio.