The Most Common Landlord-Tenant Disputes

landlord and tenant having conflict

Tenant and landlord disputes are inevitable. Despite the mostly mutually beneficial business relationship between them, disagreements arise for various reasons. In most cases, these disputes have to do with tenant rights, responsibilities to repair, rent, eviction, and several other conflicts.

During these times, it’s important that you understand the legal implications and limits whether as a landlord or a tenant. Further understanding of these things will also help prevent disputes in the future.

Here are a few of the most common issues between landlords and their tenants.

Property Maintenance

Landlords generally have the responsibility to make sure the property is maintained properly. This includes making sure that the property is safe for tenants.

The structural integrity of the building is also encompassed in this responsibility. This means the facilities like elevators and staircases, along with pipelines and electrical wires should be maintained. Heating and hot water are also included.

Failing to meet these expectations, landlords could pay hefty fines.

Cleanliness and Orderliness

While maintenance includes the functionality and safety of the property. How clean and tidy a property is, most of the time, is the responsibility of the tenant. These are usually outlined in the tenancy agreements between landlord and tenant.

In many cases, the landlord will photograph the property in its initial condition before handing it over to the tenant. This will ensure that the tenant hands it back in a similar condition when they vacate the property.

If this condition is not met, landlords usually have the right to withhold the original deposit as detailed in the agreement. These funds will be used to repair and clean the property.

If the tenant finds the deduction to their deposit unjust or unfair in some ways, they can seek legal advice from a civil litigation lawyer that’s knowledgeable and experienced in these matters.

Property Damage

looking at damages

Tenants who wish to alter the original condition of properties with the use of screws, nails, and other similar fixtures need to ask for permission from their landlords. If the landlord decides against it, or if the tenant goes ahead with such changes without permission, they may be liable to pay for the repair and restoration of the property’s original condition when they leave.

Aside from intentionally altering the property, other damages that are the fault of the tenant or as a result of reckless and irresponsible actions by the tenant will also become their responsibility to repair.

Nonpayment

Nonpayment by tenants is one of the most common issues faced by landlords. This issue covers a broad range of problems like neglecting to pay altogether, not paying additional adjusted rent costs, or refusing to pay for maintenance and upgrade expenses for the property.

During the start of the spread of the pandemic in the US, many states offered relief options for tenants and landlords according to USA Today. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau prepared an informative article detailing a few of the options available for renters in the middle of this Covid-19 pandemic.

Interests and Taxes

There are a lot of potential additional expenses aside from the rent. Depending on the location and the type of community, the tenant may be required to pay certain taxes or interest rates. Without the right communication and transparency, these charges could result in heated arguments and disputes. All expenses should be clearly disclosed in agreements.

Community Codes

Certain locations and communities have their own list of rules and guidelines for residents. These should be included in the rental agreement to ensure tenants are fully aware of their responsibilities. These expectations usually involve rules about noise, guests, pets, and other details agreed upon by the community.

If tenants fail to follow these rules despite having access to the information, they could be looking at fines or other penalties, even eviction.

Eviction

Things can end in eviction for many reasons, but the process is not as simple as informing the tenant that they are being evicted. Laws are in place to protect both tenants and landlords in these cases, and due process needs to be followed in order for the eviction to be lawful.

Avoiding Disputes

The most effective way of solving issues and disputes between landlords and tenants is by avoiding them altogether. In most cases disputes come from miscommunication. These can easily be prevented with the right amount of openness and transparency between who are essentially in a business relationship. These disputes are best dealt with outside of the court for the two parties to also avoid additional costs. It’s also important for both sides to always keep tabs on communication and correspondence for future reference.

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