Over the past few days I’ve briefly touched what certain qualities and character traits to look for when selecting a property management firm or a property manager. This blog will touch on a real life experience of an owner who believes his property manager has failed to live up to his contractual obligation and he has asked for help and guidance through this ordeal.
The client owns a condo that he has rented out for the past 2 years. He had some concerned with respect to his property manager. His last tenant subleased his condo to another person. The new tenant caused a considerable amount of damage before he was evicted for non payment of rent. The client was unaware and only found out about the damage through a third party, not his property manager.
Without the owner’s knowledge, the property manager brought in a “contractor” he found through a listing he posted on Kijiji to do the repairs. The work was never completed, but my property manager insisted the owner pay the contractor, whom he now appears to be using on many of his managed properties.
After he paid the contractor, he found out that he was not WSIB insured and did not carry any liability insurance. In addition to not being insured, the owner found out there was an arrest warrant out for him for grand theft and aggravated assault. The owner believes the “contractor” had stolen a custom fan from the dining room and other materials he had purchased to repair the condo. The front door, which is a custom-fit door, also was damaged and will be expensive to replace.
He owner was able to track down the former tenant who was on the lease and got him to pay for most of the repairs, except the front door. He can’t find the contractor, and both the fan and the front door still need to be repaired, to which, the owners believes he has already paid.
In my mind I was thinking to myself the owner should be very thankful and he should consider himself very lucky that he was able to get the previous tenant to voluntarily pay for most of the damages.
I expressed my displeasure and explained he will have to unfortunately pay for the front-door repairs and file a police report for the missing ceiling fan.
I proceeded to advise him his next step should be to terminate his property management agreement as soon he can under the existing contract.
I been in the property management business for over 17 years and I know it’s possible that a tenant can quietly leave without telling you and another tenant can quietly move in, especially if the rent continues to be paid by the original tenant.
However, the issues about the contractor clearly indicate that the property manager is unprofessional. You are bound to continue to have problems. I would cut losses and hire a competent property manager.
Unless it’s gross negligence, property managers typically are not responsible to indemnify their clients in all circumstances when the rental property is damaged by a contractor, the work is not completed properly or things are stolen.
Please do your due diligence before you hire a property management firm or property manager. Your investment and your sanity depend on it!