Do You Need a Landlord Tenant Lawyer?

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on July 20, 2010 under Landlord Paperwork and Forms, Landlord Tenant Lawsuits | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

tenant screening blogWhen Does a Landlord Need a Lawyer?
In short, landlords need expert assistance from landlord/tenant lawyers when a legal issue becomes serious or has the potential to be expensive. Here are several such scenarios:

When you’re starting out. It could be worth the extra expense to have your lease agreements, pet policies, security deposits and other legal documents prepared by a a law professional. You don’t want to discover during a tenant dispute that the lease you downloaded from the Internet is illegal in your state. And you don’t want to be sued for having discriminatory language on your lease. If you prepare your own lease documents or use publicly-available documents, you should at least have a lawyer review them before you use them.

When you experience your first eviction. Having an experienced attorney prepare all the required documentation the first time you evict a tenant is an investment in your landlord education.

When a tenant files a complaint. Sure, you can represent yourself. And if a tenant files a baseless complaint, you might just need to present the attorney-prepared documents with the tenant’s signature as proof of your innocence. But if things get sticky, if the complaint is regarding something serious like discrimination, or your tenant hires a lawyer, you might want to do the same for yourself.

When you want to reinforce a policy with a tenant. If you’ve done the phone call, email, letter routine to a tenant in violation of the lease, a quick letter from an attorney will often produce a quick result.

If you’re going into mediation or arbitration with a tenant or former tenant. It’s good to know your options, your legal standing, and what you can choose to compromise on when you go into the arbitration process.

If your tenant files a lawsuit for damages. You don’t want to take a lawsuit too lightly. Tenants who have been injured on your rental property, who have suffered losses due to your alleged negligence, or who have banded with their neighbors to file discrimination or other charges probably mean business. You probably don’t want to face serious charges without an attorney by your side.

Whenever things get dicey between you and your tenants, it could be worth the expense to hire a good landlord/tenant attorney.

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