If my tenant rents the neighborhood clubhouse and causes damage that exceeds the clubhouse security deposit, am I liable for the difference?

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If my tenant rents the neighborhood clubhouse and causes damage that exceeds the clubhouse security deposit, am I liable for the difference?

Tenant rents my house and I’ve out of state. If he rents the clubhouse managed by the HOA and either he or his guests cause damage exceeding the clubhouse security deposit, am I liable for the difference? Also, am I liable for personal injury sustained by his invitees while using the clubhouse?

Asked on January 6, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, you would not be liable, since the law does not make person A responsible for the negligent or intentionally wrongful actions of person 2, so long as there is no relationship, such as employer-employee or parent-minor child, which imposes such responsibilty. The landlord-tenant relationship does not normally impose responsibility for the tenant's wrongful actions.

That said, you could be responsible if:

1) An HOA or other agreement to which you are a party makes you responsible; a contractual provision imposing liability on you is enforceable.

2) You yourself acted negligently, in that you had notice that this tenant was a problem  (there were previous complaints; he damaged property at a previous residence; he made threats; he broke community rules previously; etc.) but did not take action; your failure to act in the face of notice that you should act could make you liable.


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