Leases are legal contracts that outline the terms for the rental of a property by one party to another. The lessee or tenant agrees to rent property from the lessor or property owner for a specific amount of time. However, sometimes lease disputes arise over issues that may or may not be covered by the contract. This article takes a look at what you need to know about these disputes.
What Are Common Issues Involved in Lease Disputes?
Even if the contract is explicit, in certain situations disputes will arise. Some of the most common issues that are subject to disagreement by one party or the other include:
- Repairs – Sometimes there’s a disagreement over who is responsible for repairs. If you’re the tenant, you may feel the property owner should make repairs when something breaks. However, the property owner might interpret the lease differently and expect you to take care of any issues that arise while you’re occupying the rental property.
- Terms – The tenant and the property owner might be at odds over the number of people that are allowed to occupy the property. Frequently, this is implied and is not always part of the lease agreement. However, some cities and counties have zoning ordinances that prohibit multiple families from occupying a single-family home.
- Deposits – The return of the security deposit is often one of the disagreements between the property owner and the tenant. You may feel that you’ve fulfilled all the obligations of the lease, but the property owner might say there’s damage that requires them to keep your security deposit to cover repairs.
- Termination of the lease – The lease will generally include the date that the lease expires, however there may be extenuating circumstances that will require terminating the lease early. If you terminate your lease early, this can result in legal action being taken against you by the property owner. If the property owner proves their case, you’ll be responsible for paying the rent for the remainder of the lease.
Negotiations can sometimes resolve the above issues without the need for legal intervention. But in some instances, it’s not possible for the tenant and the property owner to settle disagreements on their own. When this happens, one or both may need to consult with a lawyer to determine what recourse they have to settle lease disputes.
H2: How Lawyers Can Help Tenants and Landlords with Disputes
Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, it’s best to handle any lease disputes professionally. Legal issues are often complicated and difficult for the average person to understand, necessitating assistance from a professional. Because both landlords and tenants have specific legal rights and responsibilities, it’s best to get representation if you believe that your rights have been violated.
A lawyer experienced in landlord/tenant law may be able to help you get your security deposit returned, win an eviction lawsuit, or terminate a lease early. They can also help landlords if a renter has damaged their property, violated the lease by not paying rent, or moved out before the lease has ended.