5 Common Landlord-Tenant Disputes Observed in Practice

Individuals might purchase a property with the intent to rent it out. Other people move and choose to rent their former residence rather than sell it. They feel this is an excellent way to generate income. 

However, the time may come when there is a dispute between the landlord and tenant. Often, preventing disputes involves nothing more than clear and constant communication. In the event a problem does arise, a person may find help over at kellylegalgroup.com. What are some common landlord-tenant disputes?

A Failure to Pay Rent

When a tenant fails to pay rent as agreed, tension arises. At times, the tenant claims they paid the rent and its failure to be delivered on time is the fault of a third party. It may be that the landlord failed to make necessary repairs or maintain the property and the tenant is withholding payment until the matter has been resolved. 

To avoid this problem, ensure the lease agreement clearly outlines all details regarding the rent, how much it is, when it is due, and more. Furthermore, consider setting up a system that allows the tenant to report any maintenance or repair needs and carry out repairs and maintenance promptly. This ensures the tenant has no leverage if they try to withhold rent for this reason. 

Nevertheless, landlords need to recognize life happens. Don’t hesitate to work with an established tenant with a good track record if they have a financial emergency. There is a difference between being human and being taken advantage of. 

Right to Repairs

Landlords must make it clear they need access to the property to make necessary repairs. Tenants often see any visit from the landlord as an invasion of their privacy. The landlord or someone acting on their behalf should inspect the property monthly to determine if any repairs are needed and whether the tenant is adhering to the lease agreement. Every landlord needs this clause in the lease agreement, as they must protect their asset regardless of who lives there. 

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Security Deposit

Landlords typically request a security deposit to cover any damages resulting from the tenant’s use of the property. The landlord retains the right to deduct the cost of necessary repairs from this security deposit when the tenant leaves. If the landlord withholds funds, they must provide the tenant with a detailed list of the costs and expenses deducted from the security deposit. 

Property Damage

Landlords must outline what they consider normal wear and tear and damages caused by a tenant or someone visiting the tenant. The landlord needs to ensure the lease agreement shares information on waste and trash removal, common area cleaning, the removal of dangerous debris, and more. Many landlords provide tenants with move-in and move-out checklists. With this information in hand, the tenant and landlord may examine the property prior to the tenant moving in and again when they leave to determine any potential problems. 

Habitability

Every tenant has the right to a habitable property. The landlord must ensure the premises are clean and sanitary and make timely repairs when needed. If deficiencies are noted, the tenant alerts the landlord. The landlord must then take steps to rectify the situation. All health and safety codes must be complied with on the part of both parties. HUD provides a guide that distinguishes between habitable and uninhabitable conditions that both parties should reference if a dispute arises. 

Both parties to a lease agreement need to stay in constant communication. This helps to reduce stress on the relationship while minimizing disputes. A happy tenant leads to a happy landlord and a long and productive lease agreement. When landlords put their customers first, the property tends to pay for itself. 

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