Landlord Tenant Disputes

If you are currently thinking of becoming a landlord only because it helps you have a constant stream of income, you should think twice. It’s not that you should not consider offering your property for rental purposes, but you should understand that the life of a landlord is not always smooth. They need to deal with different issues from time to time, and even go to the court to resolve certain landlord tenant disputes.

Whether it is due to an isolated mishap or recklessness, landlords often have to bear with tough situations when they rent out properties. Damage can be of varying types; it could be a broken window or something serious planned to punish a property owner. In almost all jurisdictions, tenants need to take the responsibility of keeping their living quarters clean. It means they cannot ask a landlord to repair something that they have damaged due to negligence. But when tenants refuse to take these responsibilities, a landlord has to find a different way to resolve the dispute.

When you talk about the most common landlord tenant disputes, payment issues usually top the list. Sometimes, landlords have to bear with tenants who pay rent late. On other occasions, they have to deal with tenants who refuse to pay any rent. To ensure you don’t have to worry about tenants making late payments, you should prepare lease contracts accordingly. For instance, adding a term that a tenant will pay late fees if he/she fails to pay rent on time will often keep you from dealing with this issue. The problem is that these clauses will do no good to help a landlord recover their lost revenue when a tenant just refuses to make any payment. These disputes can only be resolved by dragging a tenant to the court, but even then, you may have to wait for 5-12 weeks for any eviction process to complete.

Another common landlord tenant dispute is related to security deposit. This usually happens when a tenant actually agrees on moving out, but refuses to pay for any damages. Generally, a landlord will have to issue an itemized list of damages to the tenant within 45 days of moving out. The dispute arises when the tenant does not disclose an address where this itemized list could be mailed. When a landlord fails to send the list to the tenant, it is obligatory for them to refund the security deposit in full. The thing landlords should bear in mind is that when they fail to send the list, the tenant is entitled to ask for an amount that could be three times higher than the original deposit; landlords will also have to pay attorney fees.

The crux of the matter is that both landlords and tenants should know their rights and responsibilities. Landlords should ensure that they follow all provisions as per the lease contracts, or else they would find them in a dispute that could become an expensive proposition for both parties.
Posted on Oct 01, 2012


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