Can I sue my property management company for damages to my house?

I have had a property with a company for 5 years. During this time they lead on to say the property was in good condition, etc. My property manager suddenly passed and our renters skipped without notice. My property managers secretary has lied about a number of items. Never disclosed that the tenants only paid half the month of last month’s rent. We have broken doors, ripped screens, a patio cover that has been damaged from a fire or water and carpet that needs to be replaced. The tenants had a dog and I had about a inch layer of dirt on the air conditioning filter. The landscape had not been taken care of etc. They do not have a walk-through sheet from the tenants and will not let me see much of the

file about the house. What should I do next. I fought to get back the deposit which they tried to keep for the missing rent for the month because they paid us for last month. My property manager mad a deal with the tenants without my telling me about it. The secretary then stated to me that they had a feeling they were going to leave. She also tried to charge me $300 for a cleaning fee when the property was not cleaned. I have a bunch of pictures to prove my side of the case. I don’t know where to go from here. We are military and move a lot. We are having to travel on the weekends 10 hours with 3 kids to fix the place up again. I am running out of money and time.

Asked on June 19, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if they did any of the following--and seems like they arguably did most, if not all--
1) Breached their agreement or contract with you, by not fulfilling their explicit obligations (like to ensure collection of rent; to maintain the property--I don't know for certain that these were part of your agreement/contract with them, but they commonly are part of property management contracts);
2) Did not deal with you in good faith, which can also be a breach of contract (violation of what is commonly known as the "implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing," or the obligation added by law to contracts that the parties to contracts do not take steps designed to thwart the purposes of the agreement);
3) Lied to you about what they could or would do, which may be fraud; and/or
4) Damaged your property or cost you money through their negligence, or unreasonable, unprofessional carelessness
--then you should have grounds for a lawsuit for your costs and losses. If you own the home in your own name, you could sue as your own attorney  or "pro se" if you chose to save legal fees (though having a lawyer is still recommended); if the property is owned by an LLC or corporation, you must have an attorney.


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