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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55442
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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I have a house in Colorado Springs and I live in South

Customer Question

I have a house in Colorado Springs and I live in South Dakota. For the past 4 years I have had a property management company handle the property. They are supposed to ask me to do repairs over a certain amount and I have final say on the tenants. Recently some things have come to light that are very disturbing and I wanted to see if I have any recourse.
When I initially hired them we had friends of my ex renting the property. Apparently he said it was ok for them to get out of their lease early and without doing the agreed upon repairs. I told them- before they moved out that I did not agree and we did have a contract that said they would need to pay for any repairs they failed to do because we let them do repairs in lieu of a security deposit. They left a month early and I had to pay over $2000 to get the property in rentable condition. The property management company offered to put them into collections for me and I sent them the necessary paperwork in 2012 and I asked them a few times how it was going and they said they had submitted it to the collection company but hadn't heard back. They got me another renter and we had to evict them for non-payment and they left a lot of trash and whatnot behind and had damages of about $4,000. The property management told me again that they were going to put them in collections and I asked about it and got the same answer- they put them in collections and hadn't heard back. I just had another renter in the property for about 4 months and he didn't like the neighbors and wanted to move out. Since he gave us notice we were able to find renters and he was let out of the lease on the condition that he cleanup and do the repairs he said he would do- he did do some of the repairs but not all of them and damaged the property and left furniture and other things that had to be cleaned out and cost me $2,000.
Now this property management company sold their properties to a new company called Hope Elite. I was told by the previous manager that they would handle the most recent collection. When I asked about the other collections the owner looked it up and said that the past two collections were never submitted to the collections agency and they had no record of it. He said the statute of limitations is 2 years and the first tenants that were friends of my ex would now exceed this limitation. I told the owner I would like financial compensation because I could have possibly recouped some of the funds but since they didn't do their job that option was lost to me. I said that they shouldn't be given the $110 per month if they were not doing their job.
What recourse do I have against them and what is your advice going forward? Obviously I would have fired them had I known but that point is moot since Hope Realty is now handling my property.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

You absolutely have recourse here against the property management as they have clearly failed to perform their contractual duties. What you want to do is raise the stakes on them. Send a certified, return receipt requested mail....and demand they pay all the damages you have suffered due their failure to perform their duties. Inform them that if they do not comply with your demand within a short specified period of time, you will have no choice but to file a civil suit against them for your damages. BUT, be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this civil suit not only as a breach of contract case, but as intentional misconduct and gross negligence causes of action, which will entitle you not only to the money owed you, but also an additional amount equal to multiple times the deposit amount as punitive damages. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your suit. In my experience, they will settle this without a hearing rather than risk punitive damages and the judgments against them.

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