Landlord tenant disputes are serious matters and can escalate into expensive and negative situations. We offer landlord information regarding avoidance and, if necessary, settlement of tenant landlord disputes. Landlord tenant dispute resolution is the last resort. The goal of a good landlord or property manager is to avoid tenant landlord disputes altogether.
A landlord can reduce the number of landlord tenant disputes by knowing your rights and responsibilities under federal, state and local law. Knowing your rights as a landlord will help keep you from being taken advantage of. Knowing your legal responsibilities and performing them will go a long way toward tenant landlord dispute resolution. It is your right to receive the rental on time and it is your right to expect the tenant to maintain the rental property without damage with the exception of normal wear and tear. If you have any doubt about the rental industry definition of normal wear and tear, LandLordStation.com has a discussion board on our website where you can ask professional landlords and property managers to help. Your responsibilities as a landlord include, but may not be limited to, providing a safe dwelling for the tenants, maintaining the common areas and exterior, making timely repairs and providing items that are specified in the Lease Agreement such as utilities, for example. Of course, you have many other responsibilities and it is your duty and it is good business practice for you to be familiar with all of your responsibilities.
One way to avoid landlord tenant disputes is to make sure that all of the terms of your lease or rental agreement are clear. Use a preprinted lease form only if it sets out everything you want in a lease. Otherwise, take the time to construct your own lease agreement that conforms to federal, state and local laws. Set out the date the rent is due and a date by which late rent will incur a late fee. Set out the amount of the specific amount of the late fee. At no time during the entire lease period can you change anything in the lease unless the tenant agrees in writing to a lease modification. It is much easier to get the lease right the first time. If you allow a pet, for example, do an addendum to the lease describing the duties of the tenant to pay for damage to the dwelling or yard and the amount of extra deposits and attach a photo of the pet to the addendum. Make it clear that this is the only pet authorized under the lease. That will keep the tenant from starting with a tiny dog and later getting a large dog. Always have tenants sign addendums and initial every page of the Lease Agreement. If you have spelled it out in the lease, the tenant cannot argue.
Always keep communication open with the tenant. One way to do that is to always communicate in facts not in feelings or insults or threats. Stay calm and state the facts. If you and a tenant cannot agree on an issue, try using a local dispute resolution service. That will be less expensive than getting an attorney involved. It cannot be emphasized enough that you must keep copies of any correspondence between you and the tenant. If possible, send a letter instead of making a telephone call to inform the tenant about something. For example, if you want to schedule an inspection, send a notice by mail to the tenant. If possible, it is always best to schedule anything that requires entry into the tenant’s dwelling (like carpet cleaning, spraying for bugs, etc) on a date that is convenient with the tenant rather than just sending a notice stating a date. Showing consideration for the tenant is very important. Ask the tenant to let you know a date that is convenient and then send a memo to the tenant confirming the date. Email can be used to give notice and communicate with your tenant but it is a good idea to mention this in the lease agreement. Keep a pad by your telephone or make notes in your cell phone about any tenant communication. If a tenant reports a problem that requires a repair, make a note for your files of when the repair was made and how. LandLordStation.com provides storage for each property where you can file all of the documents and correspondence for each property. You can scan and file your repair bills, memos and correspondence at no extra cost and retrieve them at any time.
If at all possible, try to resolve landlord tenant disputes before they escalate into an expensive problem. Refuse to enter into an argument and do everything you can to resolve the dispute in writing so that, in the event tenant landlord disputes escalate to the level of legal action, you will have supporting documents for your side of the dispute. Often, just the possession of supporting documents will stop a legal proceeding. If not, it is a fact that judges love documents that prove your case.
Landlord tenant dispute resolution is one way to save money and maintain good relations with your tenants. LandLordStation.com offers landlord information and document storage to make landlord tenant disputes something you never have to deal with. Also, protect yourself by screening a tenant before they ever move in to vet out any potential problems.
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