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I own a house that is rented by our tenants who are about to…

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I own a house that...
I own a house that is rented by our tenants who are about to move out.
Last year, my property manager told me the tenants weren't using one of the decks outside because the male tenant worked a contracting job and said my deck was on recall.
I asked the property manager to give me proof of this. I asked her to even ask the tenant to prove this.
When I asked the PM if she got proof she said there was nothing that she had found on it and that the tenant could not provide this proof. Then the subject was dropped and nothing else was ever said about this. This was last year, 2016.This year, our tenants are moving. They are on the last days of their lease agreement.
We sent out a exterminator because the tenant said they had garden snakes coming into the basement. We jumped on the issue and sent someone out asap! So we called an exterminator to go out and inspect. We spoke to the termination experts and they could find NO issues or proof that there was a snake issue with the home or to find how these snakes were getting in. However, we still made them "snake proof" the property. During their inspection, they found issues with the same deck the tenants said was on "recall". They sent me pictures of the damage by TERMITES. We are well aware that it is on us to fix this problem, but it was NEVER brought to our attention by the tenants. The termites have had a good amount of time to do damage. We told extermination company to take care of this too asap.I feel like both the tenants and our PM were at fault/ negligent at not report a deck that is literally "disappearing". It's stairs are chewed up and you can clearly see a buildup of a "nest" around and behind the deck stairs.
Who is at fault here???
Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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11/13/2017
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 13,430
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thank you very much for your patience. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. So, generally, against your property manager, you may have a cause of action for negligence. Negligence simply means that there was a duty that the other party owed and they breached that duty in some way. What is most important is that it is proven that the defendant breached their duty of care because that is what mostly determines whether there is a cause of action. Basically, the question is, “Did the defendant’s actions fall below the standard of care for a reasonable person in a similar situation?” If the answer to that question is yes, then there is negligence and you are entitled to damages. In this case, the property manager should have probably told you if they knew or had reason to know there'd be termites.

As far as against the tenant, you could sue for negligence potentially as well. However, the bigger issue is whether you can charge the tenant for what happened upon their move out. If termites were present and you have reason to believe the contractor/tenant knew, but did nothing about it, then you could charge them for the repairs or maybe even sue them for not alerting you to this issue.

What other questions did you have for me?

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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 8 months ago
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 15,213
Experience: Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Good afternoon, different expert here as I see you requested a new professional? I have reviewed the other attorney's response and have to agree with what they said. Was there some other information you feel was not addressed, or something you needed clarification on or more information on?

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