Negligent property management company

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Negligent property management company

The property management company had a rogue employee who tried to overcharge me for renovations. He also charged for many items that it now appears were not installed. They have since fired him as he had committed several violations and they admitted to me that he was not doing his job. I told them to secure the property and I would find another contractor. They boarded up the windows but the home was robbed and all of the appliances, furnace, kitchen cupboards, sink, etc. etc. Feces over the carpet, garage door twisted, etc. It appeared that the house was entered into by someone with a key so the property was not secured by the management company. The cost of rehab is $8,500. When I told the company that the property had been entered by someone with a key, they zeroed my account I had approximately $400 owing for boarding up the windows. Do I have a case to sue them or request they pay for the damages?

Asked on November 17, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When a property management company overcharges you or allows damage to or theft of any of your property through negligence, such as by not properly securing your property when doing so is their responsibility, they may well be liable for your costs and losses. Based on what you write, you appear to have a reasonable case for suing them for your losses. However, bear in mind that you will have to make at least one, possibly more, trips to the county in which the property is located (which is where you'd have to sue) for the lawsuit. If the value of the damage, losses, etc. would not justify your time or travel cost, this may not be a matter worth pursuing. 
(Of course, if you had insurance covering the property and its contents, then the best thing to do is submit a claim to your insurer--that's why you're paying for insurance, after all. Let your insurer then go after them if it deems it worthwhile to seek reimbursement of what it pays out to you.)


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