What is a landlord’s liability regarding a tenant’s unlicensed business?

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2011

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What is a landlord’s liability regarding a tenant’s unlicensed business?

One of my duplex tenant’s is operating what I believe to be an unlicensed daycare center. Am I responsible if kids should get hurt on the property?

Asked on June 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Even if ultimately you would be cleared of any negligence should a child be injured on your property, without a doubt you will be sued by the parents.  And I think that if you know that the tenant is operating the business without a license and the proper insurance required, you run the risk of having your insurance company disclaim defense and indemnification.  In other words: coverage.  I am sure that the business is in violation of your rental agreement.  I would seek help from an attorney to send a cease and desist letter and to start eviction proceedings thereafter should she or he fail to  end the business. Good luck to you.

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