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Property manager unreachable

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by scabbage, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. scabbage

    scabbage Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Texas
    Long story short, I'm a property owner. I'm in this bizarre situation, in which my property manager simply disappeared with tenant's deposit and two months worth of rent, all add up to $7500.

    Some detailed info below.

    This PM was referred by my neighbor. The tenant, who signed a one-year lease, is a relative of the PM. Lease ends at the end of coming March. Everything is fine until the PM failed to deposit Dec rent. Made multiple attempts to reach the PM and eventually got a response back with an apology and a promise to deposit, which never happened.

    In the meantime, I also reached out to the broker who sponsored the PM. The broker told me that, while the PM is sponsored as an independent contractor holding an agent license, the PM actually is not allowed to practice property management through the brokerage. This implies that the agreement b/t me and the PM is not valid.

    As for now, the PM simply cut off all communication with me and her ex-broker (her sponsorship got terminated due to the incident). It also appears that nobody can reach her with her current phone number. She still owe me the initial deposit from the tenant, plus Dec and Jan rent.

    Besides making a complaint to Real Estate Committee and Realtor Association, is there anything I can do to recover my loss?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The FIRST thing I would have done is report the THIEF and what he/she did to the proper law enforcement agency.

    That way the criminal justice system will extract (in one way or another) the tribute that was stolen from me.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Call the police. You've been robbed by a criminal.

    Advice for the future. If you can't handle your own rental without a property manager, sell it and get out of the landlord business.
     
    hrforme and justblue like this.
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Interesting suggestion given that most of the most successful landlords in the U.S. use property managers.
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    In other words, you agree with the suggestion.
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I wasn't referring to the most successful landlords in the U.S. :p
     
  7. scabbage

    scabbage Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks guys for replying.

    First off, the reason I'm not managing my own property is because I'm out of the country for an extended period of time. Hence I need to rent out the place with the help of a PM.

    Some updates.

    - Still cannot reach the PM
    - New PM tried to make direct contact with the tenant but they refuse to answer the door. Tenant would not response to email either.

    We highly suspect that the PM IS actually the tenant, who used her sister-in-law's info when signing the lease. But there is no proof yet. My new PM took pictures of the license plate numbers of the cars in the drive way. She'll help me run some identity checks on those license plates in the coming days.

    This is very unexpected situation. If we issue an eviction, and if the PM is actually the person living in the place, we could be evicting the "wrong" tenant.

    I haven't inform the law enforcement about this issue yet as I'm hoping my new PM can find out what is happening soon.
     
  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    The longer you wait and hope, the more money you lose.

    You need the cops and a lawyer.
     
    Red Kayak likes this.
  9. scabbage

    scabbage Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Update:

    - Cops notified but cannot file a case against possible theft since I'm out of the country.
    - Cops will make contact with missing PM, current PM and the tenants.

    Will report back.
     
    justblue likes this.

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