Communicating effectively is one of the most important factors in any relationship. The relationship between landlord and tenant is no different. However, there are times when you will run into conflicts (about rent, repairs, noise, and other issues) despite your best efforts. Read on to learn what to do if you’re dealing with a landlord tenant dispute.
Before a Landlord Tenant Dispute Occurs
You can try to do your best to be an agreeable tenant before a conflict with your landlord even arises. For instance, try doing the following:
- Reading over your lease agreement to ensure that you know all of the rules and responsibilities that fall on you as a tenant.
- Familiarize yourself with the agreement and follow it closely.
- Pay your rent on time.
- Try to be considerate of your other neighbors; don’t do things that may be considered a nuisance, such as playing loud music or leaving junk in the common areas.
- Keep your space neat and clean enough that you can’t be accused of attracting any type of pests.
- When an issue comes up, (for instance, you need something in the unit repaired) notify your landlord in writing right away and keep a record of the correspondence.
When a Conflict Arises
Sometimes even when you’ve done your best to be an ideal tenant, you can still have a conflict with your landlord. Starting off, it’s usually best not to ignore the problem. It could only get worse and could jeopardize your security and contentment in your living situation. The first thing that you can do is to contact your landlord to discuss the situation. As you start to communicate with your landlord, try not to make assumptions and give them a clear picture of what is happening. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Find a Solution to the Problem
After you’ve made the landlord aware of the issue and they know all of the details of the circumstances, you can discuss a potential solution to the problem. If you come together and agree about how to handle the issue, then you should confirm the agreement in writing.
Other Ways to Come to an Agreement
If you don’t come to an agreement or something goes wrong after you thought it was resolved, then you might have to explore other means, including:
- Arbitration: Arbitration is the type of ADR (alternative dispute resolution) where an independent third party makes the final decision to resolve the issue.
- Mediation: Mediation also involves resolving the conflict; however, the mediator will help the parties come together for an agreement but won’t make the decision for you. There are numerous options for these services through either private companies, other organizations, or via state or local bar associations.
- Small Claims Court: If arbitration or mediation doesn’t work, then taking the issue to small claims court may be the next step. Small claims court typically only deal with certain types of cases. For landlord and tenant issues, this would include cases that involve money, such as unpaid rent, rent increases, or getting a security returned.
Talk to a Tenants’ Rights Lawyer about Your Landlord Tenant Dispute
If you have a dispute with your landlord, you can try to resolve it between the two of you or get help from a third party with arbitration or mediation. Fortunately, these can typically work for you. However, there are times when problems arise where a lawyer’s help can be beneficial. Get in touch with experienced Wolford Wayne attorneys who are knowledgeable about tenants’ rights. Contact us today to get started with your next steps.