Lease Audit Information


Fiduciary Responsibility

Does a "fiduciary responsibility" exist in the Landlord/Tenant relationship? At least two courts have said "Yes".

"Fiduciary Relationship" is defined in the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law as: a relationship in which one party places special trust, confidence, and reliance in and is influenced by another who has a fiduciary duty to act for the benefit of the party.

"Fiduciary Duty" is defined as: the legal duty of a fiduciary to act in the best interests of the beneficiary.

If Landlords have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their tenants, then clearly they cannot use their position to take advantage of occupancy cost reimbursement provisions in order to profit at the expense of their tenants. If a Landlord bills more than it actually pays or incurs for an expense or service, without the authorization or expressed consent of the tenant, then it is taking advantage of this relationship.

P.V. Properties v. Rock Creek:

"Aa suit in equity for an accounting may be maintained when the remedies at law are inadequate." P.V. Properties v. Rock Creek, 549 A.2d 403, 409 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1988) (citing Nagel v. Todd, 45 A.2d 326 (Md. 1946)). Remedies at law are inadequate and an accounting is due where one party has exclusive control over financial records showing how much is owed to another. P.V. Properties, 549 A.2d at 409; see Gianokas v. Magiros, 208 A.2d 718 (Md. 1965).

In P.V. Properties, the court held the landlord and tenant were in a fiduciary relationship because the landlord exclusively maintained documentation showing expenses for property maintenance, compelling the tenant to rely on the good faith of the landlord in assessing the charges tenant owed.


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