Residential Property Management/Renter Question....
Hi there, once we had moved into our rented property we discovered that the apartment had been broken into 3 times in the last 6 months and that the previous tenant had been targeted by a local man. In our bedroom there was a panic alarm linked to the police and outside there was police CCTV. Did the agency we rented through have a responsibility to inform us of this? We requested that the flat was made secure by changing the locks and putting some measures in place, but nothing happened. Thanks!
Hi Charlotte and thanks for your Question. With the recent Passover holiday, I lost track of questions that were waiting for me. I had a 25-year career in various aspects of commercial property management, including ten years as an agent-for-owner and ten years as a licensed salesperson. I've been a tenant in rented residential properties since I left college. While your question is about residential, there is no distinction in licenses because a lease is a lease and a tenant is a tenant. All that being said, I include this disclaimer in all Answers: this answer is an =opinion= and as AllExperts states in their User Agreement, this should not be construed as legal advice. Laws vary from state to state and even county to county. Real Estate agents can't give out legal advice, anyway. If I were you, I wouldn't contact the landlord or manager or owner about this. If you feel you have a legal matter, you should contact an attorney in your area, or you can take action yourself and get all your information together, make sure it's accurate and file a complaint directly with whoever enforces those laws, likely the housing board for your city or county or even state licensing board. Don't expect the landlord or management company to be thrilled when they get the letter that there is an active complaint and they're writing to investigate the matter.
Okay...the question. I got my license 11 years ago, before all pre-licensing classes were available online and thinking back to my instructor, I distinctly remember him saying in class that it is an agent's responsibility to disclose if someone had died in a property. Is the previous tenant having a hit put out on them the same thing? Perhaps. I think it comes down to whether or not the unit is inhabitable, and either the agent or landlord could easily say they didn't know about the targeting, but extra security was installed after three break-ins within six months. Should you have been told about the break-ins? I believe so, because you might not have rented there. Is the CCTV from the police or is it more likely from the property so they can provide tape to the police if necessary? I think the latter, but I could be wrong. I don't know the size of the property, but there might be other cameras around, too, which are all part of a standard security system nowadays. If you've requested a lock change and there's no apparent reason for it, you might be charged. Here's why: In rental properties, it's typical to change locks--actually, just reconfigure the tumbler--when a tenant moves out upon the end of their lease so that they don't continue to occupy the space. You probably have different keys than the previous tenant had.
I can't tell, but it seems from your wording (all past-tense)that you might have moved because of this matter. If that's the case and there's a dispute as to whether you owe for a certain amount of rent, remember that a lease is a contract like any other. However, if something material to you completing that contract was not disclosed before you signed it, you might not be liable. It's probably best for you to seek professional legal advice from someone local to you.
Hope that was of some help. Thank you for choosing AllExperts! Please remember to rate your Expert! If you have any more info to add or have follow-up questions, I'll be happy to help you. Have a great day!