Q: Am I personally liable while working as an assistant to a property manager? What kind of lawyer should I consult?
I am working on the side for an out-of-state real estate investor for the past couple of months. He uses an LLC for all his properties. I do some admin work and showings for tenants.
A new tenant asked for a pic of my ID bc she was worried about scams. I covered up everything except my name and pic. I am wondering if later on, she has some problems with this landlord she could sue me as well. A previous tenant was threatening to sue him and me as well (but didn't have my real name or address).
The landlord is paying me via cash app and we don't have any employment agreement/contract. Would it be normal for me to request some kind of written agreement where he agrees to cover my legal fees if I am sued by a tenant? Is that common in big companies (this is a 1 man show)? If so, what kind of lawyer should I consult to have that agreement made. A real estate lawyer or? Thank you for your advice/help.
A: You will always have personal liability for your own actions, no matter what agreements may be in place, and regardless of whether you are an employee or independent contractor. The landlord will also be liable for your actions taken as their agent, regardless of what agreement may exist between the two of you.
The biggest concern I would have is the possible need for a real estate license. Showing properties, for example, requires a license if you're not an employee of the owner.
If you already have a license, the simplest thing you can do to protect yourself is to get E&O insurance (errors & omissions) and you may be able to get the landlord to cover that costs. If you are not going to be an employee and don't have a real estate license, the Texas Real Estate Commission could take action against you for acting as a real estate agent without a license.
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