Renting a home can be stressful for both tenants and landlords, and both of them have their own obligation and responsibilities. While it can be an equitable agreement for both of them, it can also leave them open to possible litigation down the road.
Regardless of the situation, renters have certain rights that are granted by their state. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have certain responsibilities. So, it’s important to educate yourself about what is expected of you when you sign a rental agreement, and there are certain steps you should take to minimize your risk of a lawsuit or any exploitation from your landlord..
Have a Written Lease
While there are some states that may enforce a verbal agreement, getting it in writing is always a good idea. That way, every part of the arrangement is clearly spelled out, and there is no confusion from either of you about your rights, privileges, and responsibilities. Not having one will make things more difficult for you if any legal issues come up in the future.
A lease will typically be in effect for a certain length of time, and it must be in accordance with the rental laws in your state. Otherwise, the terms may not be enforceable. A lease should also specify how much rent needs to be paid, as well as when it will be due.
Breaking the terms of a written lease will result in certain consequences, and they should be stated clearly so there is no confusion.
Every rental agreement will outline certain things that the tenant is responsible for while he or she is on the property. The first and most obvious is to keep it clean and free from any serious damage. Failing to do so could result in negative consequences (such as an eviction).
Many states allow landlords to take a tenant to court for any unpaid rent, and they can even ask for a reimbursement of any court costs and legal fees. If the matter does go to court, and a judgment is made, your landlord can take the following action:
- Place liens on the property
- Garnish your wages
- Hire a collection agency or law firm
The procedures for collecting unpaid rent can vary from state to state, and it’s important to understand what your rights are.
This is the most extreme action that a landlord can take against a tenant; but regardless of the reason, he or she still has rights. A landlord must follow a certain set of procedures if they wish to start the eviction process, and it’s not as simple as throwing them out on the street.
They must first give the tenant a written notice, which must give them a chance to pay any past due rent or to correct any action or behavior. If they are forced to evict a tenant, then they must hand it over to a law enforcement officer, who will remove the tenant and his or her belongings from the property.
Failing to follow this procedure could get them into a lot of trouble, and you want to make sure that your rights are protected.
Hiring a Real Estate Attorney
If you find yourself in the middle of a legal battle with your landlord, you want to make sure you understand your rights, and a qualified real estate attorney will make sure they are protected. Our team of legal experts has the expertise to deal with these matters, and they will do whatever they can to make sure you are treated fairly.
If you want to find out how we can help you, get in touch with us today!