The US’s property management market reached $88.4 billion in 2020, as per a Statista report. With the increasing market size, the number of property management litigations are also going up. If you are facing a property management litigation or considering filing one, you must know a few essential things. Here we share a comprehensive guide.
Who are property managers?
Most real estate owners don’t want to manage their property—take care of it or resolve tenant problems. Therefore, they hire property managers to act as intermediaries between them and tenants. A property manager can be an individual or a company. Most dispute settlements occur between property managers and tenants.
Common property management disputes
When property managers don’t deal with a tenant’s problems, it leads to disputes. Some everyday situations that can lead to conflicts and legal proceedings are:
- Entering illegally: When you rent an apartment or a house, you lose the right to enter it without the tenant’s permission. It is illegal to do it, as it violates the tenant’s right to privacy. Most states require you to provide a notice at least 48 hours before you want to enter. The only exception is emergencies, like gas leaks or fire.
- Withholding the security deposit: If you withhold the security deposits without a valid reason, the tenant can take the matter to court. The only situations where you can withhold deposits are unpaid rent, pending repairs, damaged furniture, or cleaning.
- Illegal clauses in the lease: You cannot add any unlawful provisions in the tenancy agreement. You need to ensure all the clauses mentioned are legal. For example, you cannot restrict a tenant to bring service animals or get in without prior notice.
- Renting out inhabitable places: If you rent a property that is not safe for living and is not up to the usual living standard, the tenant can sue you in court. A tenant can sue the property management company in all the situations where negligence has occurred at the owner’s or property manager’s end.
Exceptions to the rule
Unknown owner of a property management company: One exception is when you don’t know the property management company’s owners. Sometimes, the firm is a limited liability company with no listed owners. In such a situation, you cannot sue the company. You will need the help of experienced real estate lawyers to bring the owners in front of the court of law.
Arbitration clauses: When you sign the lease agreement, check whether it revokes your right to sue. If it does, you will have to resolve your issue through arbitration rather than going to court. In arbitration, you can find a solution through mediation. If it doesn’t work, you can resolve it in front of an arbitration panel.
About The Wotitzky Law Firm
If you are looking for an experienced real estate lawyer to help you file a property management litigation, your search ends here. The Wotitzky Law Firm is one of the oldest law firms in Southwest Florida. Our lawyers will guide you throughout the lawsuit till you receive the compensation you deserve. You can call us at 941-639-2171 or fill our online contact form to know more.