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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 

I am about to rent out my house to a prospective tenant I selected based on a positive background check.
I presented him a rental agreement saying (among other things):

"All personal property on premises shall be and remain at tenant's sole risk, and owner shall not be liable for any damage to or loss of such personal property arising from any cause whatsoever.  Tenant understands that it is advisable to obtain personal property and premises liability renter's insurance from a provider of tenant's choice."

The prospective tenant refused to sign, instead proposing this language:

"Owner shall not be liable for any damage to or loss of tenant's personal property arising from tenant's negligence.  If owner fails to repair a problem after being notified by the tenant, owner assumes liability for damages."

This seems unacceptably risky to me.  First of all, it doesn't make clear that the owner is _not_ liable if the tenant suffers property damage due to an act of god (fire, flood, etc.) or a third party.  Secondly, his "after being notified" clause doesn't include a length of time.  So, what if an electrical short circuit in the house wiring starts a fire, he smells smoke and notifies me that there's a problem, then all his property burns up.  It looks like I'd be liable for all damages to his property because I had been "notified by the tenant" about the problem.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


Posts: 314
Reply with quote  #2 
go to next tenant
once you allow the tenant to change thing, they will always try other things

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks, dishrodger.  That makes sense.

Posts: 33
Reply with quote  #4 
I agree with dishrodger.  I had a tenant that wanted to make 1 change prior to move in.  At the time, I thought it was something minor and not really a big deal so I made the change.  Fast forward 3 months, he wanted to change 40% of his lease.  Fast forward another 9 months, unlawful detainer court.  I'm not saying this prospective tenant is like my prior tenant but I would be leery.  Have you called all past landlords and run a credit check?  Checking their driving record wouldn't hurt either.

Posts: 128
Reply with quote  #5 
Dishrodger is correct. Do not let tenant write your contract. If he cannot accept your agreement, he can find a new place.
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