Can a Tenant Sue a Property Management Company for Negligence?

Tagged As:

Landlords frequently turn to real estate management companies to make sure their possessions have been well-maintained and that renters frequently pay rent. If you are injured or suffer a serious financial loss on account of the real estate management company’s negligence, then you are able to sue the organization. However, it’s important to make certain you’re suing the ideal party, and also that the real estate management firm was actually negligent.

Realizing Negligence

Negligence lawsuits occur when the person suing — the plaintiff — incurs an injury due to the negligent person, or the defendant, failed to carry out a legal duty or to exercise “reasonable care.” California law permitted tenants to quiet enjoyment of safe and habitable possessions. Properties must meet local building codes and must not present safety hazards. You can not sue your property management business in case you didn’t suffer an injury — either monetary or physical — as a result of its negligence. However, you can sue her beneath California landlord/tenant laws. For example, a failure to fix a leaky faucet would not be negligence unless the tap caused the home to flooding and damaged your house. Failure to repair a tap would, however, entitle you to fix the tap and deduct the cost from the rent.

Management Company’s Responsibility

For any lawsuit to be prosperous, you have to establish the management firm was the negligent party. If a management firm did not understand, and could not have reasonably known, about an issue with your property, then you’d have trouble winning. For this reason, it’s important to inform the property manager of any problems with your rental unit whenever possible and to keep a written record of these communications. You also need to make certain that the property management business is the responsible party. For instance, if your landlord threatened and called you or broke something in your flat, the property management business may not be responsible.


To be able to sue, you must have standing. “Standing” essentially means you can prove you have a legal right to sue and that you’re the wounded party. In California, you have to sue in the county where the land is situated. You can sue in small claims court without a lawyer for damages up to $2,000. You also need to be the tenant listed on the rental or the injured party. As a general rule, you can not sue if somebody else is harmed. For instance, if your daughter is injured because a property management firm fails to make timely repairs, you can not sue on her behalf.

What to Expect

Negligence lawsuits against real estate management businesses are referred to as premises liability cases. These cases are typically a lot more complicated than standard lawsuits against landlords or property managers under landlord/tenant laws. It’s sensible to hire an experienced lawyer because these cases frequently need substantial sums of paperwork and a lot of legal skill. You will have to document your trauma, prove that it had been caused directly by the real estate management company’s negligence, and demonstrate the financial damage you incurred. Medical bills because of an injury, costs to replace damaged land and lost wages are all examples of monetary harms. If you win your lawsuit, a judge will issue a judgment ordering the real estate management business to pay you the amount awarded in the lawsuit.

See related