Common Landlord/Tenant Disputes
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Tyler D. Bailey, Esq. with Bailey Law Firm, L.L.C..
The relationship between a landlord and their tenant can be difficult, especially when some of the typical problems between landlords and tenants arise. The contractual and implied agreement between a landlord and tenant generally explains the legal obligations each party has to the other; for the most part, these obligations include following the rules set out by the landlord regarding the treatment of and conduct within the property, and making rent payments on time.
Landlords are not allowed to evict tenants without cause, and tenants are not allowed to fail to pay rent or violate a lease agreement without repercussion. If you find yourself facing a dispute with your landlord or tenant, reach out to a landlord/tenant attorney to discuss your options.
Some of the most common disputes between landlords and tenants occur over the following issues:
- Failing to pay rent
- Violating the lease agreement
- Breaking property rules
- Breaking the lease early
- Wrongful denial of the tenant’s security deposit
- Evicting a tenant without cause
- Failing to maintain the property
- Failure to remove health and safety hazards (i.e. mold, pest control, broken stairs, broken railings, etc.)
- Failure to disclose health hazards
Due to the wide variety of issues that can arise between a landlord and tenant, it helps to talk to an expert.
Landlord/tenant law can dip into many other areas of law, including premises liability, contract law, and more. This is why it’s a good idea to reach out to a landlord/tenant attorney who is familiar with the application of all these fields to landlord/tenant law whenever a serious dispute arises. Landlords and tenants both have specific rights under law which should be upheld and protected in any situation. In general, landlords have the right to enforce the contractual obligations in the rental agreement, and tenants have the right to living in a safe environment free from hazards and harassment.
Some of the most frequent disputes between landlords and tenants occur when landlords fail to maintain safe premises.
Landlords are required to respond to maintenance requests and safety concerns in a timely manner. A delay in responding to communications can result in a dangerous condition persisting on the property longer than necessary. Additionally, landlords are expected to make sure that all doors and windows have the ability to lock properly, stairs are well-maintained and accompanied by stable handrails, as well as making sure that all gates on the property are properly secured to prevent intruders.
A significant issue in many rental properties is the problem of unlit areas, in which injuries and assault are more likely to occur; this is referred to as negligent security. If a landlord fails to provide adequate lighting on their property, and a tenant is injured or assaulted as a result, the landlord may be liable.
Another common dispute occurs when tenants fail to uphold their contractual agreements to the landlord.
Many properties contain rules regarding tenant conduct. If these rules are violated by the tenant and the landlord documents it—especially if it occurs on more than one occasion—the landlord may be well within their rights to evict the tenant. Similarly, if a tenant fails to pay the agreed-upon rent by the due date, the landlord may take whatever actions were detailed in the rental agreement regarding late or missing payments. However, it should be noted that landlords are not allowed to discriminate against tenants on the basis of race, gender, age, national origin, and more.
If you suspect that your civil rights and/or rights as a tenant are being violated, or as a landlord feel that your tenant has violated their contractual obligations, contact a landlord tenant attorney to learn about your next steps.