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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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I own a home in the state of washington that was being managed

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I own a home in the state of washington that was being managed by a property manager company. The tenant moved out on June 30th. The company failed to let me know when the tenant moved out, and I believe they changed the locks on the house. I called the company to ask about the status of the tenant, and I was initially given the runaround by the admin assistant. She finally told me the tenant had moved out a few days ago but they would need "several days" to do their walk through. This occurred on July 2nd. I was planning to sell my house and I live across the country from the location of the property, which the manager was well aware of. I had hired a real estate agent, and I requested over the phone and by email that the real estate agent be given a key to the house, so that she could take a look at what needed to be done for sale and report back to me, and so that a stager could be brought in to give a bid. The property manager proceeded to lock me out of my house for ten days, refusing to hand over the keys to my house, stonewalling and giving me the runaround, not answering messages or delaying responses, her admin assistant hung up on me when I called and asked where she was. I fedexed a key to my house to my realtor, but the key no longer worked in the door. I asked the office staff if the locks had been changed and they told me they had not. At the end of day ten, my realtor was given the key, but the house is not in the condition it was handed over. There is paint on the walls from the tenant, nails and holes from nails in the walls, and the yard is a mess. For ten days, I was paying mortgage and utilities on my house, and I was not allowed in it, and I was not given complete information about what was going on with it, and I was told by the company admin assistant that I was not authorized to grant a key to my own property.

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

What do you wish to achieve under these circumstances? Are you still using this property management company?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I want her to pay for repairs on the house that have not been done and caused by the tenant, follow through on her promise to fix the yard, and I want to know if she owes me rent and the cost of utilities used for the ten days that I was locked out of my house.

No, I am not using this company. I have told her to hand over the keys to my realtor and have given Power of Attorney to manage the property to my realtor. The property manager has not handed over all of the keys though.

I see. Thank you for clarifying that.

The property management company is likely in breach of contract for locking you out of your own property and a claim could also be brought for trespass and conversion or property since they changed the locks without your permission and prevented you from entering the property. You could also sue for loss of use of the property for the period you were locked out, but not necessarily for the utilities or mortgage, unless you have reason to believe they were occupying the property or you can show you would have rented the property sooner if not for their wrongful conduct.

If the management company returned the tenant's deposit and did not withhold appropriate amounts for damages done by the tenant, they could also be liable for the damage caused by the tenant.

Since you are out of state, it could become expensive to pursue legal recourse against the company, but small claims court permits you to pursue a claim without having to retain an attorney. Or you could retain a local attorney to communicate a demand to the company for damages. If they wish to avoid a lawsuit, that often motivates parties to come to a settlement for their wrongful conduct.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need so I will be compensated for my time from the deposit you posted with this website. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!


Tina and 3 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX very helpful!

You are very welcome! I hope you can get this resolved soon. It sounds as though the company did not fulfill their obligations to you in several ways. Good luck!