Rental Property For Non-Lease People

Mom isn't on the lease; but wants to discuss with property manager about the rental property that her daughter lives in.

In the realm of property management, especially in a bustling city like Philadelphia, we often find ourselves navigating through an array of unique and sometimes unexpected challenges. A recent inquiry from Allison during our Grow Real Estate Investing Podcast perfectly illustrates one such situation. Allison asked for advice on how to respond to a complaint from the mother of an adult tenant regarding a lost package, an issue that, while seemingly straightforward, opens up a broader conversation about the boundaries of responsibility in property management.

The Rental Property Issue

Allison's dilemma revolves around a mother, who is not named on the lease, contacting her about a package sent to her daughter that never arrived. The mother believes that as the property manager, Allison should take responsibility for this. However, this situation touches upon two crucial aspects of property management: privacy and responsibility.

Privacy and Lease Agreements

Firstly, it's paramount to understand that unless an individual is named on the lease, property managers and landlords have a fiduciary duty to respect the tenant's privacy. This means we cannot engage in discussions or share information with anyone not designated by the tenant, including family members. A tenant can authorize someone, such as a parent, to communicate on their behalf, but without such authorization, our hands are tied both ethically and legally.

Responsibility for Mail and Packages

Regarding the responsibility for mail and packages, it's clear: the role of a property manager or landlord does not extend to overseeing the mail service. Issues related to lost or undelivered mail fall under the purview of the postal service or delivery companies like Amazon. While frustrating for tenants and their families, these matters are beyond the control and responsibility of property management.

How to Respond To People Not On The Lease

When faced with situations like Allison's, a respectful but firm response is crucial. Here's an example of how I might respond:

"Dear [Mother's Name],

Thank you for reaching out. I understand your concern regarding the package sent to [Tenant's Name]. However, as [Tenant's Name] is the leaseholder, any communication regarding the rental unit must be directed by or involve them directly, as per our privacy policies and lease agreement.

Regarding the missing package, I recommend contacting the postal service or the delivery company for assistance. As a property management company, we do not have control over or responsibility for the delivery and handling of mail and packages.

I appreciate your understanding and am happy to assist with any issues directly related to the property or lease agreement.

Best regards, [Your Name]"

Conclusion: Navigating Challenges with Professionalism and Care

The question from Allison serves as a reminder of the diverse challenges faced by those of us in the Philadelphia property management industry. It highlights the importance of adhering to privacy laws, lease agreements, and setting clear boundaries regarding our responsibilities. As a leading Philadelphia property management company, our commitment to ethical practices, professionalism, and clear communication guides our approach to every situation, ensuring we maintain positive relationships with tenants and their families while upholding our duties and obligations.

Navigating the intricacies of rental property management requires patience, understanding, and a deep commitment to fair practices. Whether dealing with lease agreements, tenant queries, or unexpected issues like lost packages, our goal remains to provide exceptional service, fostering a sense of community and trust within the properties we manage. Here's to overcoming challenges with grace and continuing to serve the Philadelphia rental community with dedication and care.


Joe White

Joe White is a Philadelphia Property Manager and Real Estate Broker. He is the owner of Grow Property Management and has been involved in the management, sales and purchases of Philadelphia area rental investment properties since 2008. He is an author and works as a real estate investment consultant and construction manager.

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