If you rent an office for your business’s operations, you sign a contract with your landlord, but depending on how extensive your landlord’s holdings are, you might not interact with him or her much. Many landlords delegate their day-to-day duties to a property manager, who handles important jobs such as taking care of maintenance, collecting rent, and helping tenants as they move. Working with property managers complicates landlords’ real estate insurance because it involves more people, but it also simplifies their jobs.
Hopefully, your relationship with your property manager is professional and amicable. Still, it’s smart to watch out for these common scenarios in which business owners have legal disputes with their property managers.
Failing To Keep the Building Safe
Are property managers liable for their tenants’ safety? In many cases, the answer is yes. Property managers are required to maintain all building codes, such as providing heat in the winter and fresh water throughout the year. If you keep up with your rent and utility bills and your manager still does not maintain your office’s living conditions, you may have grounds for suing the property manager.
Handling Evictions Improperly
If you don’t keep up with your rent, your property manager and landlord have the right to evict you. Your property manager must follow the guidelines for eviction as specified in your contract, though. For example, if your contract states that you must receive a week’s notice before eviction and your property manager denies you access after three days, he or she has not respected your contract.
Delaying Maintenance Concerns
As a renter, you are not responsible for addressing your office’s structural integrity or other safety concerns. Once you notify your property manager and your real estate insurance provider about an issue, your manager has a duty to resolve this problem. Failing to take care of maintenance in a timely fashion could constitute breach of contract or negligence.
Trespassing on Your Private Space
Trespassing disputes are more common with apartment renters than with commercial leases. Still, if your property manager agrees not to enter an area without notice or permission and then does so anyway, a lawyer may be willing to hear your case.
Collecting Rent Unethically
Your property manager’s rent collection process should be transparent and follow your contract’s guidelines. If your property manager contacts you about rent twice in one month, or if your landlord reaches out to you about rent when you have already paid it, your property manager may have committed fraud. In this situation, show your landlord your credit card or checking account statements to prove that you have kept up with rent, and ask him or her about making a report with the police.
About SB One Insurance Agency
At SB One Insurance Agency, we have served the businesses and residents of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania for more than 60 years. We are a wholly-owned subsidiary of SB One Bank, the region’s premier banking institution, and we are prepared to offer you personal, business, employee benefits, and risk management solutions. To learn more about our coverage options, contact our specialists today at (888) 990-0526.