Preparing for the day when a tenant’s negligence might land you in hot water is always problematic for property owners. When they signed the contract, hopefully, your renter agreed to keep your Williamsburg 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.
Despite the fact that you are not held answerable for the illicit business activities your tenant may carry out, 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 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. Even so, if you do come across something happening on your rental property, it is crucial to immediately take action to fix the problems. 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. Like 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”
Sometimes, the issue of whether or not you “should” have been knowledgable about a renter’s illicit activities may turn up. 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. Furthermore, 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
It is always a great idea to tackle any problems a renter is making as soon as you know about 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. 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. This is why it is all-important to take prompt and proper action in order to prevent yourself from being sued by enraged neighbors. Cautiously checking up on your renters is another indispensable part of keeping away from unwanted legal concerns, as is carrying out routine property evaluations. At Real Property Management VA Peninsula, we can do all of this for our Williamsburg property owners. Would you be interested in learning more? Please contact us online or by phone at 757-251-9188 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.