San Francisco resident Deborah Silverman found herself fighting off rats from the unit below after ten years in her apartment. After feeling her complaints had fallen on deaf ears she moved… and sued for $125,000.
The landlord, Bart Murphy, manages 500 buildings and acts as a Rent Board Commissioner. Among the allegations is that his company did not fix the problem in order to drive the long time tenant out so they could raise rents. The apartment Silverman lived in was rent controlled and the rents were raised after she left.
Making the case stronger against the building manager, the city of San Francisco had ordered pest control visits twice that were never completed.
Property managers are encouraged to create systems and checks to ensure complaints are investigated, substantiated and fixed in a timely manner. Without documentation it is very difficult to defend allegations of a lack of action. Government regulation is increasing and anyone working with rent controlled, subsidized or pubic housing should be extra careful of increased enforcement. Putting proper risk management in place up front can save headaches down the road.
Contact BuildingManagerInsurance.com today to discuss ways you can increase controls to lower your risk and insurance cost. They are the experts in helping building managers who have had legal problems secure competitively priced insurance and also are able to help well run organizations highlight their improved risk for underwriters.