Posted in Blog  
  on Jun 08, 2015

Landlord Breach of Contract Explained

A rental agreement is a contract between a tenant and a landlord and/or property owner. This contract governs how both parties must conduct themselves over the course of the relationship. Just as a tenant can cause a breach of contract, landlords can also violate the terms and conditions of the contract that has been signed as well.

A Contract Breach Doesn't Have To Be Voluntary

Landlords often don't mean to breach their lease, but may wind up doing so anyway. This usually happens when there is a health or safety issue that occurs on a rental property. There are certain things that landlords must provide to their tenant, including hot water, working sanitation items, and proper security. Many jurisdictions require that landlords correct issues involving health and safety within 24 hours or a breach of contract will have occurred. Other breaches occur when a lack of action is taken for non-emergency repairs as well. Many jurisdictions have a requirement that landlords respond to any repair or maintenance request with a specific period of time – usually 10 business days, but local numbers vary. A failure to respond, even unintentionally, can become a landlord breach of contract.

Contract Breach May Occur After Move-Out

Just because a tenant moves out of a rental property does not mean that the contract has become unenforceable. If the lease set forth agreed upon terms for moving out, security deposit return, and the storage of personal property, then a failure to meet these obligations may also result in a breach of contract.

These issues, however, are not the most common type of breach that occurs. A landlords that appears on a rental property without permission is the most common issue that violates a leasing agreement. Not every jurisdiction requires landlords to give notice to tenants for inspections or visits, but a vast majority of them do.

 

What happens when a contract breach occurs? Many jurisdictions offer tenants the opportunity to leave the rental property without penalty. Security deposit stipulations may still apply, but tenants might also be offered the chance to litigate with landlords for coverage of their unanticipated expenses due to the need to move. This is why following landlord/tenant laws and the principles of a leasing agreement is so important. The law trumps the contract, so a breach of the law acts just like a breach of contract for landlords today.


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