Landlord tenant disputes are an unwelcome part of the renting process and can often be avoided if both parties understand their rights and responsibilities.
For tenants, there is a responsibility to pay rent on time, use reasonable care not to damage the property, properly dispose of waste, and refrain from breaking the specific terms of lease. For landlords, there is a strict duty to make, and keep, the property habitable for the tenant. Landlords must also make and pay for repairs due to ordinary wear and tear. Landlords cannot unlawfully discriminate and must also refrain from using "self help" tactics if a tenant is in breach of the lease. "Self help" tactics include turning off a tenant's water or electricity, or even changing the locks when the tenant is absent.
If you are involved in a landlord / tenant dispute, it is important to seek legal advice early, before the problem escalates. The attorneys at our firm are familiar with the numerous state and federal laws that apply to rental property. We can advise you on a course of action that protects your interests and works towards a successful resolution to your case. If litigation is unavoidable, we are prepared to aggressively protect your rights in court.
At RICE & ROSE, we assist residential and commercial landlords and tenants in legal matters including, but not limited to: