Both landlords and tenants want to avoid legal hassles; a successful landlord-tenant relationship depends on both parties knowing and complying with the many state laws that are in place. All states carry their own set of landlord-tenant laws, which is why you need to find out your rights as a tenant or a landlord in your state. In all states, a landlord cannot discriminate against religion, race, sexual preference, age, or any form of discrimination. In all states, a landlord can use your security deposit if you have failed to pay your rent or damaged the property beyond your normal wear and tear. If the landlord decides to keep your security deposit and you disagree with why this is the case then you can take the landlord to small claims court.
If you are a tenant, you will need to be informed about topics such as tenant screening, security deposits, damages vs. normal wear and tear, renter’s insurance, subleasing, breaking a lease, and rent collection. Tenants may also be concerned about such things as no-pets policy, pet deposits, and late charges, as well as the landlord’s right to access the property. If you fall behind on your rent or lease payments you may need to consult an attorney with knowledge of eviction laws and tenant rights.
Landlords need to know their legal rights regarding security deposits, pet deposits, tenant screening, subletting, renter’s insurance, rent collection, late fees, and access to property. In addition to the standard rental laws, landlords need to be informed of applicable laws concerning contracts, eviction laws, tenant rights, and the rights of property owners. The landlord has more to lose than the tenant, because of the value of the property and the chance that the tenant may devalue the property by damaging it or making it inhabitable. Consulting with an attorney who specializes in rental laws is a good idea, as contracts prepared by attorneys experienced in landlord tenant legal services can provide enormous protection for the landlord as well as making sure that the contract is enforceable and complies with the law.
Rental laws are a combination of state statues, common law, federal law, and property law. Landlord-tenant issues for both residential and commercial rentals and leases are governed by these laws. In most states, cases concerning landlord-tenant disputes of less than $5,000 are handled in small claims court. Some states, however, have a district landlord-tenant court to hear such disputes.
It is always advisable to hire a landlord-tenant attorney when contracting for rentals or leases, serving eviction notices, or taking the other party to court to resolve landlord-tenant disputes. Sometimes problems present themselves that don’t necessarily require the hiring of a lawyer, but require obtaining reliable information about your legal standing under rental law. Our experienced rental lawyers can help provide you with the legal advice you need today.
Your landlord or apartment complex has certain responsibilities to you as a renter, including your rights under the Fair Housing Act, your right to a return of your deposit, the obligation to maintain the property, proper access notification, notice of legal rent increases, and elimination of health hazards.
Eviction laws are primarily designed to protect the rights of tenants, but the landlord’s interests and rights to reclaim the property are also addressed. In most states, a tenant can be lawfully evicted for failing to pay rent, violating the contract, or expiration of the lease. A landlord who makes an unlawful eviction could be found liable to compensate the tenant for costs in the court of law. To avoid such costs, it is beneficial to consult with an attorney who specializes in rentals or leases to clarify the procedures spelled out by eviction laws.
Leases and Lease Termination
Lease termination can be a complex event that causes tension between the lessee and the lessor, especially when an early lease termination letter is involved. Regardless of the tenant/landlord relationship, things can get sticky when it comes time for one of them to terminate a lease. If you are facing such a situation, you need legal advice to make sure that the lease termination doesn’t cause you grief or result in legal action.
An attorney can ensure that the proper notices are given, that they are given in a timely fashion in accordance with the lease agreement and with renters laws, and that your case, if it goes to court, will be properly documented in your best interests.