Know Your Rights as a Landlord: When You Should Hire an Attorney
The gamble of leasing a building or apartment is that you don’t always get the most honest, respectable tenants. While you should make use of a free tenant screening to ensure tenants have a good rental history, they still might not end up being the best fit. Here are some rights you have as a landlord, and some tips about when you know you should hire an attorney.
Landlords can sue tenants for damages
One of the convenient aspects of being a landlord is your ability to withhold security deposits. This is all outlined in the paperwork that your tenant signs when making a lease agreement. In the paperwork, you should state that you have the right to use their security deposit to pay for any damages that the tenant makes.
This usually is more for broken appliances at their fault, shattered window screen, markings on the wall. Most tenants will comply, but they have to, since they signed the papers. If they disagree with the charges and sue you, you have definite grounds to countersue.
You don’t have the grounds to sue for normal wear and tear — this might mean an outdated appliance breaking down or a squeaky door hinge. But if you have a difficult tenant who is destroying your property, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney to sue them for damages.
Evicting someone who won’t leave
Eviction civil suits usually happen incredibly quickly. If you are having issues with a tenant following your rules, you must abide by certain eviction protocols. The protocols involve filling our the proper forms and documents, and then notifying the tenant involved in the lawsuit.
The issue with these cases is that the judge will sometimes side with the tenant, since it is their home at stake. With that being said, having a lawyer is a must in an eviction case. Lawyers can offer expertise and fair treatment for both parties involved.
These cases can be difficult to win, especially if this is your first eviction case. It can be even more difficult if the tenant hires a lawyer, files for bankruptcy, or is an employee of your property. Eviction lawsuits are tricky, but doable with the right help.
Timeline for hiring an attorney
You want to hire an attorney for damages within 21 days of any damage or incident if it is extreme. You can contact Vernon lawyers for guidance in your legal journey. You might want to evict someone who is breaking your agreed upon contract. You might also want to evict someone who is destroying your property.
Once you find a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of landlord/tenant agreements, you can file a lawsuit. You want to collect all of the documents, photographs, and evidence that you can before working on your case. It is also in your best interest to notify the tenant. Hopefully your tenant is ready to move out, and takes your request as a cue to leave. This isn’t usually the case, sadly, but an expert lawyer will get you the results you need.
Being a landlord is stressful enough with well-behaved tenants. Don’t let the potential legal issues scare you from making the most out of your landlord career. There are tons of great tenants out there who will fully comply. Know your rights to hire an attorney and get your property to running the way you want to.