To live a peaceful life as a tenant, you need to have a good relationship with your landlord. If you are facing any issues with your landlord and you are planning for a legal battle, you need to be aware of some common errors made by landlords that can turn the case into your favour.
Common legal mistakes made by landlords
- Using generic or outdated lease forms
You must be aware of the importance of a rental or lease agreement. The use of an outdated or a wrong lease form can create a lot of issues for the owner of the property. Hence, if your landlord has used a generic lease agreement, you might be at the winning side of a lawsuit. Such an arrangement might contain an unenforceable rental clause.
Similarly, some generic form might contain certain clauses that are not required for your case. That’s why understanding all the terms and conditions mentioned in the rental agreement is very important.
- Skimping on insurance
Overlooking the insurance can also be another factor that may cause trouble for you as well as landlords. If a renter gets hurt on the property due to some unsafe conditions or landlord evicts the renter illegally, the insurance would help the renter to cover the expenses of the litigation. It would also help to recover money for the damage caused.
- Asking the wrong questions during applicant screening
In the real estate business, the first and foremost mistake that a landlord tends to make is during the tenant’s interview or screening process. Many times property-owners end up asking questions that can go against them in the litigation.
Some important and simple questions regarding marital status, disability, etc. can be considered as discrimination under legal grounds. If the reason behind the rejection of your rental application is based on any kind of discriminatory factors like gender, nationality, familial status, religion, or race, you have a full right to file a complaint against the landlord.
- Failure to make disclosures to prospective tenants
Nowadays, making property-related disclosures to the potential renter has become mandatory. Failure on the part of the landlord in disclosing any important property-related information can create a lot of problems for the landlord, during a lawsuit.
- Refusal to make repairs
Generally, a lease agreement covers all the details concerning the ownership of the repair work. If the tenant contract doesn’t cover this clause, the landlord needs to take care of the same. Before giving the property on rent, the landlord needs to ensure safe electricity, flooring, and roofing in the rental property. Other necessary facilities, such as clean water, heating, gas, and plumbing, should also be there. If the tenant faces any problem in the facilities mentioned above, he/she can ask the landlord to get them repaired. Refusal or failure to make these repairs gives the tenant a right to press a lawsuit against the landlord.
- Charging excessive late fees
Property-owners add a ‘late-payment charge’ clause in the tenant contract to ensure that they get their rent on time. Sometimes, the landlord gets overboard and charges quite a hefty fee. The fee charged is much higher as compared to the actual damage suffered by them due to late rental payment. This may act as another big blunder on the landlord’s part that may have a heavy impact during the lawsuit.
- Failing to return security deposits according to law
In most of the cases, a renter needs to pay a security deposit to the landlord. This is taken to cover the damages caused by the renter while staying at the property. Once the tenant leaves the property, the landlord uses this amount to pay for fixing the damages. Sometimes, landlords not only misuse this deposit, but they don’t return the balanced security amount. A tenant can charge the landlord for monetary damage in case the landlord fails to pay back the balance amount.
If you need legal advice for your lease agreement, book a call with our legal team and we’ll guide you through every stage of your legal needs.