Mold & Mildew Disclosure
Any moisture issues the owner has had in (and around) the property, in the past five years, needs to be disclosed to the tenant before they take possession. You need to notify the tenant if the owner has had a flood, leak, mold, water damage etc. Failure to disclose this can have serious consequences and we’ve fought several battles with tenants over this disclosure. Make sure the owner signs this and have the tenant sign a copy before they move in. Tenants get irate when they discover ‘the owner had moisture/mold issues and wet basement with previous tenants’ (or while they lived there) and feel deceived when it’s not disclosed before they took possession. When tenants feel tricked or deceived they talk to lawyers. The manager usually ends up being blamed by the tenant and ends up sharing in their moving costs. Owners don’t think to tell you ‘unless you ask’ so be sure to make an issue out of this. We’ve been burned more than once over this failure to ask, and get hold harmless agreements from the owner. You can use the same owner signed original over and over again so ‘don’t use the original.’ Make copies for future tenants to execute. (Don’t miss the sister document for the tenant signs in the Tenant CYA section)
Protect Yourself From Owners
“The longer you’re in property management the more you realize that it’s sticky, often hostile, sometimes even litigious. Over 35 years I’ve been burned many times by owners, tenants, vendors, staff and third parties and after the second or third time (I’m a slow learner) I would go back to the attorney and have her draft a document that prevents it from ever happening again. Blaming property managers has reached an all-time high and isn’t going away anytime soon. So, understanding this reality, smart managers need to spend extra time, money and effort building/crafting documents designed to protect themselves, even from the folks they are trying to serve. We’ve pulled these documents from our archives and have listed them here for your review and downloading individually (or in packages by topic). We’ve laid this material out in the Property Management Life Cycle categories for purposes of giving the discussion some order.
Protecting yourself from Owners is what these documents are all about.