The general rule is that an owner of a rental property is not responsible for the wrongful acts of a tenant occupying the rental property. There is an exception to this general rule, however, if the landlord knows or should have known of activities by the tenant on the rental property that could cause a nuisance, i.e., damage to neighbors, to surrounding property owners, or even to a passerby. See Klimkowski v. De La Torre, 175 Ariz. 340 (1993). In the Klimkowski decision the Court of Appeals ruled that the landlord knew or should have known of the tenants’ recklessness with regard to gasoline and incendiary devices on the rental property. Therefore, the landlord was liable for damage caused by an explosion on the rental property.
Real estate investors who own rental property should regularly visit the rental property to assess the condition of the rental property, and confirm that the tenants are properly maintaining the rental property.