Condo Management Company's Responsibility?

Category Lawsuits

I own two condos in Florida managed by the same company. Both condos are rented on a yearly basis. The management company takes a percent of the rent as compensation.


They recently called me and told me they evicted one tenant due to non-payment of rent and told me the renters had moved out without paying the last month's rent. To make matters worse, they did not get a deposit.

The condo is totally trashed. The tenants were in there for three years and were not supposed to have animals. Three months ago the tenants were presented with a lease addendum that the condo association required saying that renters were not allowed to have pets and this paper was signed by the tenants so we know someone from the management company at least went to the condo unit and should have been able to see somewhat the condition of the unit. The filth and damage to the place is unbelievable.

The management company said I should sue the tenant for the damage, but I think the management company should have some responsibility since they were on site and should have noticed the pets and the condition of the unit.


My agreement with the management company says they are not responsible for damage to units. Coincidentally, about nine months ago my original management company turned my condos over to this management company and now this one is saying the previous company should have gotten a deposit.

I have found out and have a letter from the first company saying this most recent company is the "parent" company so they are both intertwined. This company has been helping me immensely with getting the place back to livable conditions, even expending their own money on some immediate items that needed to be done before I can get down there. They have also forwarded pictures to me of the damage.

I am considering taking the management company to court to at least get reimbursed for at least half of the cost of repairs and renovation. What do you think my chances are and what kind of lawyer should I get?


By C.A. from Albany, NY

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December 12, 20120 found this helpful

As a business owner/landlord, I would think you would have an attorney on retainer, or at the very least one that you have done business with before. Talk to that person.

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December 13, 20120 found this helpful

I doubt you can sue the management company, since you signed a release saying they aren't responsible for damage to units. You might be able to get them on the "charge" that they were negligent in knowing what was going on with the property for an extended time (how long were those tenants in the unit?), though, and in failure to obtain a deposit.


Going forward, I would not allow any rental without a deposit and I would insist on regular inspections with a written report back to you each time. (This went on frequently when I was a renter.) After any repairs were done, I'd fire them and get a new management company. Not letting the management company "off the hook" completely, but tenants do hide some of their activities (pets for example) sometimes the management company is not completely at fault.

You might need a lawyer who specializes in property law, but probably just a regular one would do.

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December 14, 20120 found this helpful

First off, I thought Condo's were purchased. If I am ignorant of your states laws, forgive me.


That said, here is a link to dozens of New York Landlord Tenant Act sites.

As a former property manager, I have never signed a contract saying that I wasn't responsible for damages. Now, perhaps the companies I worked for did, so again, I might be talking out of turn.

However, right now, the manager I am living under has been fired. Why, because she let in a lot of folks who made a lot of trouble for us tenants who didn't.

So my question is: did the company know that the residents in question broke the rules, or did the company break the rules by letting them in. In most cases, your rental history follows you. In doing a thorough background check it is key to knowing this is a pattern. Sadly, this might be their first "offence" so there is that, too.


Ultimately the resident has to end up paying you back. At least in Oregon that is pretty much the way. Of course, you can't get blood out of a turnip so try and recoup what you can from who you can.

And yes, get a good attorney.


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December 21, 20120 found this helpful

I think an attorney would suggest you sue all 3 parties. Present your case to a real estate attorney. S/He'll help you make that decision. He might also advise you not to sue anyone - just take the loss.

I would advise you to change management companies immediately. Apparently they are not conducting regular inspections of your properties.

I am also concerned about the other property they are managing for you.

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