Contractors and Accident Liability

Last modified on August 20th, 2013

Contractors really play a major role in the success of any property manager. They are responsible for keeping your properties in a welcoming condition that impresses both property owners and residents.  There is just one problem – we are also liable for their work.

It may sound like an obvious point, but it is something that new property managers and landlords fail to think about. Regardless of who does the actual work on your property, in a circumstance where a job is done badly, and it leads to an accident or injury, you cannot chase your contractor for compensation. It just is not the way that typical contracts are drafted, and in most instances, you wouldn’t have success in winning such a court case.

Why is this? Well, the contractor works for you. So no matter what the circumstance, you need to compensate a resident or visitor that is put in harm’s way due to improper maintenance on your property. Secondly, property management is always responsible for inspecting the state of the property. You may not feel as though you should have to check on the work of your contractors, and ideally, you shouldn’t have to when working with people you trust to provide quality work. But, from a legal position, if you failed to inspect the work to ensure that the area was safe, you took on all liability. Using a property management app can help keep tabs on the work happening throughout the property to ensure you don’t miss dropping by when necessary.

This is why it is essential that you are careful about who you choose to contract with. Likely, when running a large property, you will be working with numerous contractors who provide different services. This means you have to put a lot of faith in a lot of people. Screen them carefully, ask for referrals, and make sure that you’ve got a sound contract that allows you to dismiss them if they are doing an unsatisfactory job.


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