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I have three rentals in Texas and am a resident of Hawaii and

reside there. How can...
I have three rentals in Texas and am a resident of Hawaii and reside there. How can I protect my own home and assets from any renter trying to sue me? I just got an Umbrella Policy in addition to the insurance on each rental. Is that enough?
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Answered in 31 minutes by:
4/10/2013
Jack R.
Jack R., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6,147
Experience: Mediator, part of the Ohio Save the Dream Foreclosure project
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Your primary defense beyond a personal liability policy such as the umbrella policy is your lease agreement. The lease agreement should indicate that the tenant is responsible for maintaining the property in a safe and clean condition. Tenants should be responsible for replacing batteries in smoke detectors. Your lease should provide a time frame and method for reporting damage or other issues on the property. It can also indicate that any injury resulting from the tenants failure to maintain the property or properly report any deficiencies in the property are the tenants responsibility (hold harmless clause in your lease). Your lease should also provide that any injury suffered by guests of the tenant are the tenant's responsibility.

 

You should provide the tenants with a local contact for emergency repairs or safety problem. In most cases the law provides that a landlord cannot be sued for what the landlord is not aware of, however once aware the law is unforgiving on failure to remedy or mitigate.

 

Optionally, you should hire someone locally to perform a periodic inspection of the property to make sure all electrical, plumbing, and structural components of the property are properly maintained. Having a record of this would bolster any argument that to your knowledge the property was in good condition. Many communities require such inspections every 2 years or so. In addition to the structural components items such as fire alarms, smoke detectors, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers are checked for proper operation.

 

If you found this answer useful please press the appropriate quality of service button of 3 or greater. This is needed so I can get credit for my answer. If you have follow up questions please ask.

 

This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship.Information provided here is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information.

 

 

Jack R.
Jack R., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6,147
Experience: Mediator, part of the Ohio Save the Dream Foreclosure project
Verified
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Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6,147
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Experience: Mediator, part of the Ohio Save the Dream Foreclosure project

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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