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  1. #1
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    Default I Want to Recover Damages Associated to My Rental House

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Nevada

    Hi,

    I am a landlord and I had my house rented by a prop management company, who did NOT provide me a MOVE-IN inspection, and failed to perform the MOVE-OUT inspection

    There was all sorts of damages upon move-out, and I have not been able to collect because the prop manager left the management company, and did not provide me the security deposit transmittal describing all the damages, with the funds released to the tenant

    Would the designated broker of the prop manager for my rental home be ultimately responsible?

    Can I take the designated broker to court, or would I need to try to find the property manager's whereabouts or the old tenant's whereabouts, to serve notice and get my money back?

    What is the statue of limitations for going after such negligence from the prop manager?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I Want to Recover Damages Associated to My Rental House

    If you have a contract with the property management company, it is they you likely should be suing. It matters not where their employee is today. What "broker" are you talking about?

    If more than 45 days have passed since the tenant has moved out, you've waited too long to do anything against the tenant directly. You likely have four to six years (depending on the nature of the contract) to proceed against the company.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: I Want to Recover Damages Associated to My Rental House

    There is no negligence case to be had against the property management company. But you did have a contract with that company and if the actions of the property manager breached that contract then you have a breach of contract claim against the property management company. And as the property management company was your agent for handling matters related to the rental property there may be a claim for breach of fiduciary duty.

    There might be a claim against tenant for damages beyond ordinary wear and tear. But there are the problems both of proving it and of collecting from the tenant if you get the judgment. If the state of the unit upon move was so bad that it could not possibly have been just ordinary wear and tear that would help you in getting over the first hurdle. The second depends on what kind income/assets of the tenant you can attach.

    Is your rental operation organized as a LLC or corporation?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I Want to Recover Damages Associated to My Rental House

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    There is no negligence case to be had against the property management company. But you did have a contract with that company and if the actions of the property manager breached that contract then you have a breach of contract claim against the property management company. And as the property management company was your agent for handling matters related to the rental property there may be a claim for breach of fiduciary duty.

    There might be a claim against tenant for damages beyond ordinary wear and tear. But there are the problems both of proving it and of collecting from the tenant if you get the judgment. If the state of the unit upon move was so bad that it could not possibly have been just ordinary wear and tear that would help you in getting over the first hurdle. The second depends on what kind income/assets of the tenant you can attach.

    Is your rental operation organized as a LLC or corporation?
    I do not see this as you do.

    It is very simple to distinguish between normal wear and tear vs. excessive damage like holes in walls, scratched hardwood floors, damaged curtains/blinds or broken windows...all that can be easily proven with photos.

    Secondly, I do not see this as involving the ex-tenant from the standpoint of the OP. If these damages should be paid for by the tenant's security deposit, and the property management prematurely returned those funds, then the property management company is responsible to ask or sue the tenant to get those funds back. If they cannot get those funds back from the tenant, then, if real estate brokers are bonded, his/her bond should be pursued. Or, the broker can pay for the repairs out of pocket.

    Thirdly, why is this not negligence?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: I Want to Recover Damages Associated to My Rental House

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    I do not see this as you do.

    It is very simple to distinguish between normal wear and tear vs. excessive damage like holes in walls, scratched hardwood floors, damaged curtains/blinds or broken windows...all that can be easily proven with photos.
    How easy it is to prove depends on exactly what the state of the place was, what it was like when they moved in, and how long they had lived there. We don't have those details. As I said before, if the place is clearly damaged beyond anything that could possibly be ordinary wear and tear then that makes it easier to make that case. But until you see the evidence each side has to offer, it's not possible to guess how easy it would be to make that case here.

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    Secondly, I do not see this as involving the ex-tenant from the standpoint of the OP. If these damages should be paid for by the tenant's security deposit, and the property management prematurely returned those funds, then the property management company is responsible to ask or sue the tenant to get those funds back.
    The tenant is still responsible for the damage he causes. The OP is free to go after both the tenant and the property management company to recover his losses. To the extent you are suggesting that the OP may find it easier to go after the management company, you may be right. I basically said the same thing. However, the damages the OP might get from the property management company may not cover all the damages the OP suffered.

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    Thirdly, why is this not negligence?
    It's not negligence by the property manager because there is no common law or statutory duty of a property manager to perform their work at any particular level of care. The property manager's duties are solely those that arise from his contract with the OP and his fiduciary duties as a result of being the agent of the OP.

    To put it in a contracting context, if a contractor does a job poorly but that does not pose any risk of danger to anyone that contractor is not liable for negligence. There is no duty under the law for the contractor to do the job to a specific level of quality. If the work is done poorly, that may however be a breach of contract. Now, if the work was done in such a way that it posed a risk of harm to someone else and someone does in fact get injured from that, then there is a negligence case because the common law does impose a duty of care not to injure others.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I Want to Recover Damages Associated to My Rental House

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    How easy it is to prove depends on exactly what the state of the place was, what it was like when they moved in, and how long they had lived there. We don't have those details. As I said before, if the place is clearly damaged beyond anything that could possibly be ordinary wear and tear then that makes it easier to make that case. But until you see the evidence each side has to offer, it's not possible to guess how easy it would be to make that case here.
    If it is not easy to prove excessive damage, list a few damages that could not be easily proven with a photograph.

    If it is the property management company's responsibility to withhold funds for damages, it would also be their job to prove those damages since the owner is not present or involved in the renting of the property. How else would they prove those damages without before and after photos? So that makes it their basic job to take photos.

    The tenant is still responsible for the damage he causes. The OP is free to go after both the tenant and the property management company to recover his losses. To the extent you are suggesting that the OP may find it easier to go after the management company, you may be right. I basically said the same thing. However, the damages the OP might get from the property management company may not cover all the damages the OP suffered.
    The OP is more than "free" to pursue both parties. The OP is free to do whatever he wishes. Also, it is not just "easier" to go after the property management company. If the property mamagament company returned the funds prematurely it is not the OP's responsibility to get it back. It is the PM's problem and possibly their loss. In the same way a contractor would be responsible if he mis-spent his material money on incorrect, non-returnable materials. It would not be the client's problem or loss, with or without that specific verbiage in a contract.

    It's not negligence by the property manager because there is no common law or statutory duty of a property manager to perform their work at any particular level of care. The property manager's duties are solely those that arise from his contract with the OP and his fiduciary duties as a result of being the agent of the OP.

    To put it in a contracting context, if a contractor does a job poorly but that does not pose any risk of danger to anyone that contractor is not liable for negligence. There is no duty under the law for the contractor to do the job to a specific level of quality. If the work is done poorly, that may however be a breach of contract. Now, if the work was done in such a way that it posed a risk of harm to someone else and someone does in fact get injured from that, then there is a negligence case because the common law does impose a duty of care not to injure others.
    There may not be a law on the books but a contractor would lose in court if he did an unacceptable job by the common person's standards. A law does not have to broken by a contractor in order for him to be held responsible for shoddy work. As for the OP, if the place was trashed and there was no photo evidence of before or after, and they prematurely returned the deposit, they'd be responsible for the damages up to the deposit amount.

    I believe a property management company requires a licensed real estate broker to operate legally because they write and/or enforce binding leases. With that license comes responsibility for their actions...contract or no contract. Same with a licensed contractor.

    As for the term 'negligence,' you are correct because there is a stark different between our use of the word and the legal definition of the word. So use a different word to describe the PM's misappropriation of funds.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: I Want to Recover Damages Associated to My Rental House

    Quote Quoting flyboy2805
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    I am a landlord and I had my house rented by a prop management company, who did NOT provide me a MOVE-IN inspection, and failed to perform the MOVE-OUT inspection
    Can you please explain what it means for the property management company not to have provided you (the landlord) a move-in or move-out inspection? Do you simply mean that the PM didn't conduct a move-in or move-out inspection with the tenant?


    Quote Quoting flyboy2805
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    There was all sorts of damages upon move-out, and I have not been able to collect because the prop manager left the management company, and did not provide me the security deposit transmittal describing all the damages, with the funds released to the tenant

    Would the designated broker of the prop manager for my rental home be ultimately responsible?
    I'm not sure what you mean when you say that "the prop manager left the management company." Do you mean a particular employee is no longer with the company? If so, why does that matter? Your contract is with the company, not a particular individual, right? Does the PM (the company) still have the security deposit? Is there still time for the PM to send the former tenant an itemized list of damage? Also, what is the relationship between the "designated broker" and the PM and you? Last, what does your contract with the PM say bout this?


    Quote Quoting flyboy2805
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    Can I take the designated broker to court, or would I need to try to find the property manager's whereabouts or the old tenant's whereabouts, to serve notice and get my money back?
    Your tenant is (or should be) liable for the damage. Whether the PM has liability to you depends on how you answer the questions I've asked. That said, anyone can sue anyone for anything, but the ability to sue has little to do with the chances of succeeding.


    Quote Quoting flyboy2805
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    What is the statue of limitations for going after such negligence from the prop manager?
    The Nevada statute of limitations for negligence is two years from the date on which the cause of action accrued.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: I Want to Recover Damages Associated to My Rental House

    See my answers below please.

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    Can you please explain what it means for the property management company not to have provided you (the landlord) a move-in or move-out inspection? Do you simply mean that the PM didn't conduct a move-in or move-out inspection with the tenant?

    Correct




    I'm not sure what you mean when you say that "the prop manager left the management company." Do you mean a particular employee is no longer with the company? If so, why does that matter? Your contract is with the company, not a particular individual, right? Does the PM (the company) still have the security deposit? Is there still time for the PM to send the former tenant an itemized list of damage? Also, what is the relationship between the "designated broker" and the PM and you? Last, what does your contract with the PM say bout this?

    Correct, the employee is no longer there and the real estate commission has found the employee at fault.

    Yes the contract was with the company.

    The security deposit was given back to the tenant with no itemized list of deductions given to me.

    No because the money was given back.

    I employed the Designated Broker/Property Manager as the sole exclusive agent of management of my property. All duties performed by the Designated Broker/Property Manager shall be on behalf of the owner

    Your tenant is (or should be) liable for the damage. Whether the PM has liability to you depends on how you answer the questions I've asked. That said, anyone can sue anyone for anything, but the ability to sue has little to do with the chances of succeeding.


    The Nevada statute of limitations for negligence is two years from the date on which the cause of action accrued.
    Luckily I was there with the property manager(PM) and I took many pictures that she did not during the move-out. I also know my house did not have any of these damages before the tenant moved in. The PM was simply incompetent. Another issue/problem is that the previous property manager of the same brokerage did not perform a proper move-in inspection. Complete incompetence. I was misrepresented badly.

    Carpets were destroyed, gaping holes were present in the drywall, and doors were destroyed.

    No itemized list of deductions was given to me, nor was a copy of the security deposit transmittal.

    I don't know where the prop manager or tenant lives, but I want to know if I can sue the designated broker since the property management agreement states that I employed the Broker/Property Manager to manage my property

  9. #9
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    Default Re: I Want to Recover Damages Associated to My Rental House

    Quote Quoting flyboy2805
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    I don't know where the prop manager or tenant lives, but I want to know if I can sue the designated broker since the property management agreement states that I employed the Broker/Property Manager to manage my property
    You need to be taking action against the company, not the individual employee.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I Want to Recover Damages Associated to My Rental House

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    If it is not easy to prove excessive damage, list a few damages that could not be easily proven with a photograph.
    Again, it depends on the nature of the damage, what the place was like when it was rented, and how long the tenant had been there. Sure, some things are obvious. But others are less so. For example, scuffs on a floor. Is that more than usual wear and tear? Maybe, maybe not, depending on the extent of the scuffs, what the floor was like when the tenant moved in, and how long the tenant had been there.

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    If it is the property management company's responsibility to withhold funds for damages, it would also be their job to prove those damages since the owner is not present or involved in the renting of the property. How else would they prove those damages without before and after photos? So that makes it their basic job to take photos.
    That would be a contractual duty, however, not an issue of negligence.

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    The OP is more than "free" to pursue both parties. The OP is free to do whatever he wishes. Also, it is not just "easier" to go after the property management company. If the property mamagament company returned the funds prematurely it is not the OP's responsibility to get it back. It is the PM's problem and possibly their loss.
    You're right that the property management company may have breached the contract in returning the security deposit rather than withholding it for the damage the tenant did and would be liable for that. And it's likely easier to sue the property management company for that than chasing down the tenant who might not have much ability to pay at this point. But if the OP wants to be sure of getting fully paid he may want to pursue both the property management company and the tenant. For example, let's suppose, as you say, the damage is easily proven and is $5,000. The only failure of the management company in that case is that it let the security deposit go back to the the tenant. Let's say that security deposit was $1,500. The management company would be liable for breach of contract for the $1,500 security deposit it let go. But the property management company did not cause the damage to the unit. That damage would still be there even if the property management company had handled the deposit correctly. So the $3,500 of damage that was done that exceeded the security deposit is something the landlord would have to go against the tenant to recover.

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    As for the term 'negligence,' you are correct because there is a stark different between our use of the word and the legal definition of the word. So use a different word to describe the PM's misappropriation of funds.
    Bingo. And I'm discussing the legal definition of the term since that's what will matter should it go to court.

    I'm not disagreeing that the property management company may be liable to the OP for at least some of the damages he has here. But it's not a negligence claim. It'd be a breach of contract and/or breach of fiduciary duty claim.

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