What is the accountability of the property management company


I had the following question. Appreciate any advice.

If a property is being managed by a Property Manager (PM), are they liable at all? For example incorrect installation of CO detectors. Who is liable? What if the property is far away from the owner?


Can someone with experience please chime in? The property management company that I am dealing with has a clause in the contract that says they are not liable for discrimination lawsuits from the renters. But then they are the ones talking to the renters and choosing them. Does not sound fair to me. Is that a normal clause in the agreement with PM?

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PM is just “middleman” between you, tenant and repairman with “0” liability. As soon lawyers getting involved - PM out of picture. Its all on you.
I don’t have much experience with PM but i heard from other ppl that PM most of the time (not always) just milking $ from you and blaming you for not following their recomendations with their contractors

Yes, this is my experience too. There is one line in the standard PM contract about Equal Housing Opportunity which says the property is offered in compliance with anti-discrimination laws. Any disputes must first go through mediation. Under owner responsibilities is the indemnity to hold harmless the broker from all liabilities.

zensri, If you have not yet hired the PM please screen them thoroughly, especially if you aren’t able to be there physically. I learned my lesson when I went with my first PM based on lots of yelp reviews (from tenants) and later found out when there were some conflicts that they had case/s against them. The difference with the new PM is like night and day.

If they are liable for everything then no one would be in the PM business.

Thanks to all those replied. I understand the role of PM better now.

I agree that I don’t see how they can claim they aren’t responsible for discrimination lawsuits if they’re choosing the people.

Also, I know that our PM was very adamant that it was first come first served, so get to the open house early, because they didn’t want a lawsuit and they took from the top of the stack and worked their way down to the first application in which all adults could pass a background check.

PS: I would assume that anything the contractor does, he/she is responsible for, so the bigger question is whether the PMs only work with licensed & bonded contractors/workers.

Very strange to me that they are not liable for choosing the tenants. It must be different situation or the same on every PM, who knows.

What I know for sure is that as a renter, once you take over a property under any management firm, you better check everything up, and request to replace anything up, report any scratches on anything, a bad paint job, you get my gig because when you are moving out…they will charge you for anything you missed to report.

For example: We were charged for the installation of an electric outlet in the kitchen “based on the new rules from the city” they said. I went to the office myself and told them I would pay that the day that I died. I made them erase that charge or we wouldn’t pay and we would go to court.

They were kind of mad at me because I made them pay for the clean up of the second bathroom where a cat from the former renter had peed, which didn’t cause any problems until Summer came and that apartment went so hot. It was impossible to live there not only because of the heat, but because of the stench. It did cost them $600, while I didn’t charge them for cleaning up the side of the building every month. Weed would grow up big time.

I was that type of a nice renter, believe me. :grin:

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I can see that they wouldn’t take liability for the tenant. But liability for discrimination suits is really different–they’re literally the ones who decide the method of choosing. Why that should get passed to the landlord if the landlord had no involvement, I don’t know.

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That’s a question to ask to the PM.

I have a hard time believing the investor is liable for what the PM company does.