Owners love to leave personal property behind thinking it will still be there when they return. It seldom is and guess who they want to hold responsible for protecting and managing it? YOU of course. No matter what you say to them, they think you should be the guardian of their stuff, and see to it that it gets returned in good shape. Protect yourself. Take yourself off the hook in advance and make it clear ‘you’re not the manager of their personal property.’ For years we tried to accomplish this with a stip in the management agreement but it didn’t work. You need to draw their special attention to this Issue and this document accomplishes that. This document tells them to take their personal property out or don’t expect to see it ever again. They will leave stuff locked in a closet in the basement and expect you to manage it as well. They will expect you to manage the water leaks and mold on their stuff in their Owner’s Closet and blame you when the rodents find their way in. Make it clear you’ll list items they leave behind but they can’t hold you accountable when it turns up missing or broken.
Note: when the sheriff and his boys start tossing out the tenant’s stuff they seldom ask “is this yours, or the owners.” You need this document to protect yourself.
“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.
The Property Management Lifecycle by Crown Investor Institute LLC