Mis-managed by my property managers, can I sue for malpractice?

Simon Woodley asks:
(updated on Monday, January 14th 2008)

I assigned the management of my rental property to a licensed estate company after the tenant got $750 behind in rent, hoping that the company would be more firm with the tenant. In the two years that the company has been 'managing' my property, the tenant has racked up $3500 in arrears. The company and it's employees have shown no regard to my financial interests and I am at my wits end. They now want to evict the tenant but that won't get me what I am owed. Do I have any recourse? Can I sue for malpractice?

Our Experts Answer:

I recommend that you seek independent legal advice regarding recourse against your property manager, as the Residential Tenancies Act doesn’t cover the relationship between a property owner and property manager. Your local Community Law Centre or Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to provide you with some free legal advice, or direct you the best source of information for your situation. In terms of the rent owed to you by your tenants, an application can be made to the Tenancy Tribunal for an order establishing the amount owed as a debt, as well as for an order terminating the tenancy. This will then enable you to pursue the debt either through an independent debt collections agency or through the Court Collections Unit. Contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262) from Monady to Friday between 8:00 am and 5:30 pm for information and advice about making an application to the Tenancy Tribunal.

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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