In the landlord-tenant relationship, the law most often favors the tenant. Being a landlord is no easy task to begin with, and with the amount of responsibility that landlord tenant rights and laws place on them, it can be an almost impossible endeavor without the right help.
Case in point: I recently worked with a client who was trying to evict a tenant. Being a self-sufficient landlord, my client—before hiring me—had decided to go through the eviction process on his own. He had filed all the paperwork correctly and seemed to have everything under control. But his desire for a quick decision from the judge made him miss a crucial detail. His tenant had filed for bankruptcy before my client moved to evict.
It might not seem like an important thing to check for when evicting a tenant, but it is, as my client soon found out. Because the tenant had filed prior to the eviction, he was protected. The case went to the federal courts. Not only could my client not remove the tenant from his property, he also ended up having to pay for his tenant’s court costs. Had my client contacted me straight away, I would have caught the bankruptcy, and he could have saved several thousand dollars, not to mention a lot of time and stress.
Do you want to start 2018 the right way? Knowing these common landlord mistakes could help you avoid violating landlord tenant rights.
Not Following Eviction Rules
As my client discovered, you can think you’ve checked every box and still come up short when you try to evict a tenant by yourself. But checking each box doesn’t always happen. If you want to preserve landlord tenant rights (and avoid landing in trouble), you have to follow the proper legal eviction steps.
Discriminatory Lines of Questioning
As a landlord, you have to follow the federal Fair Housing Act, which means you cannot deny someone housing for discriminatory reasons. Such reasons include race, gender and sex, disability, familial status, national origin, disability, and sexuality, but tenants who feel discriminated against can make a case for others.
What you can do is run a background check to look for any financial red flags, such as past bankruptcies.
Improper Handling of Security Deposits
Your lease agreement probably requires tenants to pay a security deposit upon moving in. This money is only to be used if the tenant owes you for rent or for property damages when they move out. Keeping the money without providing the tenant with proper documentation can lead to the tenant taking legal action against you.
Got any questions about Landlord Tenant Rights?
No two situations are the same, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have questions about keeping your landlord tenant rights intact this year.
Want to keep your rental business legal in 2018? Call HLF Real Estate Law at 305-760-4425. Se Habla Español.