Rental agreements are “agreements” that have legal standing between the landlord and the renter. Landlords should know that tenants have rights, even though numerous laws protect property owners.
There are instances when a situation arises that calls for more than a simple dialogue can handle. These issues are frequently referred to as landlord-tenant disputes, and you could consider seeing a lawyer to learn more about your legal alternatives. Regardless, it’s essential to understand what leads to landlord-tenant arguments and how to avoid them.
If you’re a tenant considering suing your landlord, this article is for you. Join us as we examine cases where a tenant can sue their landlord
Top 3 Reasons to Sue A Landlord
- Illegal Withholding of Security Deposits
The security deposit is held by the landlord, who must only use it to cover repair costs for damage caused by the tenant, unpaid rent, or both at the end of the tenancy. Your landlord must repay your security deposit if you were a tenant and did not cause any damage to the rental or owe any rent. Tenants and landlords regularly argue over the return of security deposits. The most frequent issue is when landlords take money out of a renter’s security deposit to repair the damage that the tenant feels wasn’t their fault. That can mean subtracting money to restore “normal wear and tear,” prior damage from before the tenant moved there, or both. Unfortunately, the distinction between “damage” and “regular wear and tear” might be hazy.
But generally speaking, “damage” is brought about by a single occurrence, such as a renter spilling red wine on the carpet. However, “normal wear and tear” develops gradually over time, such as discoloration in the carpet’s most heavily used places. Typically, expected wear and tear is not subject to deduction by the landlord. Regardless, there are still other security deposit infractions. Landlord-tenant regulations are also violated if the landlord requests an excessively high deposit or if one is not provided on time. You can also work with a local property manager to help communicate your needs as a tenant.
- Unresolved Habitability Issues
There is an implied warranty of habitability when a landlord rents out a unit; it is assumed that the leased property is in livable condition. The landlord usually has to offer alternative housing if the property becomes unusable for a while, yet the tenant has paid rent to reside there during that time. For instance, suppose you pay your rent for September, but a tree collapses and damages your roof in the middle of the month. For two weeks, you vacate the premises while the landlord has the roof fixed.
Your landlord should arrange for you to stay in another apartments for rent in providence ri, a hotel, or some other type of lodging. Different situations can be more complicated. For example, if one of your two bathrooms breaks down, the house is still livable; thus, the landlord is not required to put you in another apartment. However, tenants can rightfully sue if they continue to pay rent for a house with two bathrooms and the landlord doesn’t fix the toilet within a reasonable period.
- Illegal Clauses in Lease Agreements
Creating lease agreements containing illegal elements and violating your state’s landlord-tenant regulations is not the right of landlords. For instance, the Federal Fair Housing Act permits you to acquire a service animal. Your service animal cannot be taken away by your landlord. Specific clauses in lease agreements are illegal for landlords to include.
Clauses that forbid your landlord from making necessary repairs to the property are not permitted. Furthermore, landlords aren’t allowed to have a condition that gives them the right to evict you whenever they want. You might be able to sue your landlord if they drafted clauses in your lease that are against landlord-tenant legislation or other state laws.
Landlord Actions Considered as Harassment
Harassment occurs when a landlord aggressively exerts pressure on or intimidates a renter. For example, a landlord may take these steps to obstruct the tenant’s peaceful enjoyment of the rental property, compel them to vacate, or coerce them into giving up on exercising a legal right they may have. There are countless ways a landlord could harass a tenant. Some instances include:
- Illegally Changing Locks
After both sides have presented their cases, the court will conduct the legal procedure of the eviction. However, it is unlawful and harassing when a landlord locks out a tenant to evict them. This also includes barricading these entrance points in any way that restricts the tenant’s ability to gain access, altering the locks on the tenant’s unit or shared areas, or both.
- Unauthorized Access to the Rental Property
Landlords may need to enter the property. These situations typically include routine checks, upkeep, or urgent repairs. However, tenants may claim landlord harassment if a landlord makes too many inspection attempts or fails to give them enough advance notice of their intention to enter. The sole exception would be if an entry were required suddenly for emergency repairs that endangered the tenant’s health or created a significant risk of property damage.
- Interrupting Utility Services That Affect Habitability
When landlords rent their apartments, they commit to keeping the place in livable condition. This is sometimes referred to as a “habitability warranty.” This says tenants have a right to essential utilities like water, sewage, and heating in the winter. Therefore, it is evident that landlord harassment occurs whenever landlords interfere with utilities to evict renters. However, it is not harassment on the landlord’s part if the utility is cut off due to the tenant’s nonpayment.
Every state has unique landlord-tenant laws, as do many localities. And if you intend to argue that your landlord violated the rules, you must be aware of them.
Sadly, a situation that calls for more than a simple dialogue can address will arise. These issues are frequently referred to as landlord-tenant disputes, so consider speaking with a lawyer about your legal rights or hiring a competent property manager to help you express your demands as a renter.