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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10213
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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We had a sloppy property manager who did not managed the

Customer Question

We had a sloppy property manager who did not managed the property well and let a tenant out with the damaged with an estimate of $8,000-$10,000 and he still charged us punch of rediculious clean up fees which is still very messy before his resignation.
Please advise us for this situation.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 7 months ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn of this situation. Unfortunately your remedy here is to sue the property manager for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty (a form of negligence), you can throw in a cause of action for fraud as well (the claimed cost of clean up), although this is probably going to be eclipsed by the other two causes of action where your recovery really is going to be.

The Virginia small claims court jurisdictional limit is $5,000.00 (so if you sued there it would only cover about 1/2 of your damages), in order to recover the full value you would need to sue in general civil court where procedures are a little more complex (you can still sue on your own (without an attorney), but do plan on spending some time on researching the procedure and devoting some time to drafting your pleadings and motions as parties are generally represented by counsel in general civil court).

Short of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.

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