Rental Services, Inc. October/November Newsletter

Property management Company Settles for $105,000

Another property management company was recently sued by a former tenant.

A&G Rental Management chose to settle a lawsuit with a previous tenant for $105,000. The suit claimed the property management company provided the tenant with deplorable living conditions.

The suit against the property management company claimed the tenant had to live with hypodermic needles, rats and overflowing garbage at their apartment community. The tenant consistently complained about the conditions over their lease term, but the property management company never addressed their concerns.

The tenant decided to file suit for emotional harm after they received several move-out charges from the management company totaling $1,500. The ex-tenant felt these charges were unfounded based on the living conditions and the move-out fees.

It seems like this lawsuit could have been avoided by taking two basic steps.

When buying real estate, they always say it’s all about location, location, location. When it comes to rental properties it’s all about curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal. Obviously, this management company forgot about this important aspect of property management. If the company would have addressed the rentals curb appeal the issue could have been avoided.

At RSI we hear applicant’s concerns about alleged fraudulent move-out charges all the time. When renters move out they often think they have left the property in great shape and deserve a full refund of the deposit. Often the property owner or management company feel differently about the condition of the rental.

The best way to handle a move-out is documentation. Make sure to conduct a walkthrough of the property with the renter before move-in. This should be documented with an inspection sheet and any anomalies should be documented. When the inspection is complete have the renter sign the inspection sheet. When they move-out use the same inspection sheet to document damage. If the original sheet shows no dents in the oven door and now you have a 3-inch dent in the door you should document the damage on the inspection sheet and generate a charge for repair. It’s hard to argue in court when they agreed at move-in that the oven didn’t have a dent. It’s also recommended that you take pictures with a digital camera of damages.

Rental Services, Inc. provides a form to complete the walkthrough process. If you visit the RSI website under Business Form you can download the Tenant Move-in Move-Out Inspection.

Did you know?

Recently I spoke with a client who was discussing the possibility of using management software. The client’s biggest reason behind possibly making the change was the use of an online rental application. I explained to him that we offer an online application of our own, the RSI Quick App. RSI offers an online rental application to all its clients. It can be used as a standalone product or as part of the management software we have recently rolled out to our clients.

RSI works hard to keep up with trends in the industry. As a client you have access to several different screening services and tools. RSI offers online rental applications, management software, the ability to collect documents online, automated payment processing and other services.

Make sure to visit the RSI website or give us a call to discuss screening options.


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