If your property manager rented your rental property to a bad tenant, are you liable for all the damages and costs?

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A property manager can be a useful person to help you, especially when you have many properties to manage. They can help you with any maintenance requests, rent collecting, and other responsibilities.

However, what happens when bad tenants strike?

Running into a bad tenant is always a possibility. Even when you screen a tenant, sometimes a bad one slips under the cracks. Unpaid rent, damages, and all that lovely stuff can occur. You may wonder if you’re the one who is liable, or if the property manager is.

The truth is that the manager can help you collect, but in most cases, isn’t the one who is responsible should you have unpaid rent to deal with.

Look at the Agreement

When you hire a property manager, you have an agreement. This agreement can explain all the responsibilities a property manager has. The responsibilities include collecting rent, doing business on your behalf, and so on. One of those responsibilities is to collect rent or damage costs should they occur, but the manager isn’t responsible for paying themselves unless the agreement said they should. Chances are, most property managers wouldn’t agree to it.

Instead, the manager usually just acts as your representative. You’re a busy person, and you’re not someone who can do all the work, so you need someone to help you.

What Happens When the Tenant Refuses To Pay?

If you have landlord insurance that can cover you in the event that you have a bad tenant, that’s a good thing, but if you don’t, the manager may be able to help you evict the tenant. The manager can be the one who makes an eviction notice and informs the tenant that they are responsible for the damages. Should you have to bring the tenant to court, the manager may help represent you as well. They can do this by providing proof of the situation and showing all the notices they told the tenant about.

Taking the Tenant to Court

No one likes a court battle. It’s messy, and even if you win, it’s still a hassle. You can try to sue the tenant for back rent or damages. Obviously, you need to collect proof, and the property manager can be the one who can help provide you with it.

When you file a lawsuit and you win, there are many options to help collect. You may use an attorney, collection agency, or another way to get your money. Having those can allow you to get your money much faster. No tenant, even a bad one, likes these people on their backs.


A bad tenant can ruin your property, and it’s not so simple at times if you want to avoid the bad ones. However, have some safety precautions, and a plan if things go sour, and you may be able to get your money back soon enough.



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