The Property Owner Assumes Additional Risk with Rental Cusomer Self-Showing Service
Rental Customer Self-Showing Service is becoming common in the Property Management Industry for properties that lease for less than approximately $1,500 per month. While this process is very effective for providing easy access to Rental Customers, there are some additional risks that the Property Owner assumes when they authorize the Property Manager to use this method.
When an Agent does not escort the Rental Customer to the property:
- There is no way to know if the key is returned to the lock box and/or if the Rental Customer makes a copy of the key. Currently, the technology on electronic lock boxes does not indicate if the key has been returned to the lock box and the situation exists where the property could be unsecure and not discovered for a considerable period of time until and unless a new Customer schedules an appointment and reports the problem to the Property Manager.
- There is no way to know if vandalism, theft, etc. occurs and the situation can remain unreported to the Manager for an indefinite period of time.
- And even if the Customer does return the key to the lock box, it does not verify whether or not any doors or windows were left unlocked or open.
Property Owners should not assume that any Property Manager assumes this risk for the Property Owner unless the Property Owner receives such assurance in writing. Property Owners concerned about this issue should seek legal advice from their Attorneys.
Birmingham Home Leasing does not assume the additional liability associated with Rental Customer Self-Showing Service. Birmingham Home Leasing “does not make any warranty, representation, or guarantee to the Owner that there will be no loss or damage related to the Rental Customer Self-Showing process, including but not limited to: vandalism, theft, property damage, etc.”
Birmingham Home Leasing places the following clause in the Rental Listing Agreement for Self-Showing Services:
OWNER AGREES TO INDEMNIFY THE BROKER AGAINST CLAIMS OF LOSS RELATED TO SELF-SHOWING SERVICES: The Broker does not make any warranty, representation, or guarantee to the Owner that there will be no loss or damage related to the Rental Customer Self-Showing process, including but not limited to: vandalism, theft, property damage, etc. The Owner has specifically requested the implementation of a self-showing process and instructs the Broker to allow Rental Customers to show themselves the property, not escorted by REALTORS, by providing lock box access instructions after the Broker has verified the Customer’s identity. The Owner understands and assumes all risks inherent in allowing a self-showing of the property. The Owner agrees to hold harmless and indemnify the Broker and the Broker’s employees, agents and representatives from all loss, expense, damage, claim suits and costs whatsoever (including, without limitation, attorney’s fees and expenses) incurred during, related to, or arising out of providing Rental Customer self-showing service hereunder, whether such damages are for personal injury and/or property damage suffered by any person whomsoever on or about the premises or otherwise.