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Can a Van Nuys Landlord be Sued for a Renter’s Negligence?

Van Nuys Property Manager Going Over the Terms of a LeaseAs a landlord, it can be challenging to comprehend when a tenant’s negligence might land you in hot water. When they signed the contract, hopefully, your renter agreed to keep your Van Nuys rental home clean and properly maintained and to refrain from illegal activities. Not all tenants will abide by the conditions in the lease, and dilemmas that commence on the property can rapidly heighten into issues for you.

Despite the fact that you are not believed to be responsible for the unlawful undertakings your tenant may perform, 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 effect of any legal action held against you will doubtlessly lean 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

At times tenants are very capable of hiding shady activities from their landlords. Despite that, if you do discover something happening on your rental property, it is essential to acquire actions instantly to confront the predicaments. 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 debate of whether or not you “should” have known about a renter’s illicit activities may occur. For example, if you know your tenant is self-employed before you grant them a lease, there is some puzzlement about whether or not that signifies that you should have presumed they would be conducting business in the rental home. Likewise, 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. Certainly, if you’ve accomplished due diligence and didn’t discover any confirmation of past issues, that will build up your odds of avoiding liability.

Addressing the Problem

It is an excellent idea to confront any dilemmas a renter is creating as soon as you learn about them. But at times, a property owner has limited ability to completely fix the issue. 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 liable, you must have the power to essentially do something about the issue. Absolutely, the flip side is that if your lease makes it clear that you don’t allow loud parties or business activities and you don’t take measures, you might be on the hook in a lawsuit.

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. At the same time, taking immediate and appropriate action is also critical to keeping yourself from being sued by angry neighbors. Evaluating your renters thoroughly is additionally a crucial portion of keeping yourself out of undesirable legitimate distress, as is executing conventional property evaluations. At Real Property Management West San Fernando Valley, we do all of this for our Van Nuys property owners – and a whole lot more. Would you like to know more? Please contact us online or by phone at 818-727-0100 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.