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If you have ever rented an apartment, you may have had issues arise with your unit or the complex. Maybe your landlord responded quickly to your concerns or addressed any danger or damage in common areas as soon as it appeared. First and foremost, and most obviously, landlords are required by law to ensure that the apartment is habitable. This means that they must repair any issues that impact your ability to live in the apartment, such as a broken water line or A/C unit. Here is some information on additional landlord responsibilities and liability, as well as on how to find a good attorney to represent you should your rights as a tenant be violated.
What Can I Do If My Landlord Has Caused My Injuries Or Damages?
If you were harmed by your landlord or another property owner, then you might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against your landlord. My Rights Law is an experienced personal injury law firm that concentrates on helping aggrieved renters and accident victims obtain compensation and justice from careless property owners. Our skilled premises liability lawyers are here for you when you need us. Please do not hesitate to call (888) 702-8882 or contact us through our secure web form for a free consultation.
- 1. Lease Agreements And Deposits
- 2. Hazards On Apartment Property
- 3. In Common Areas
- 4. Within Apartment Units
- 5. Discrimination
- 6. Evictions And Lease Termination
- 7. Selecting A Landlord Liability Attorney
- 8. Why Should I Hire A Landlord Liability Attorney?
- 9. Increase Chances Of A Successful Outcome
- 10. Determine Damages And Remedies
- 11. Save Time And Stress
- 12. How Do I Select An Attorney?
- 13. Reputation And Experience
- 14. Settlement And Trial Rates
- 15. Attorney’s Fees And Costs
- 16. Attorney Assistance
- 17. Apartment And Landlord Liability Lawyers
- 18. Landlord Tenant Lawyer FAQ
- 19. How Can A Landlord Tenant Lawyer Help Me?
- 20. What Causes Landlord Tenant Lawsuits?
- 21. What Kind Of Damages Do Tenants Get For Suing Property Owners?
- 22. Calling A Landlord Tenant Lawyer For Help
Lease Agreements And Deposits
Most states impose certain obligations on landlords when it comes to rental agreements and security deposits. The rental agreement is a written contract that outlines the responsibilities of both you and your landlord. The rent amount, payment due date, and duration of the lease are some of the details that you may find in your agreement.
Your landlord may also be required to make certain disclosures, which they often include in the lease agreement. Your landlord may have to disclose the presence of toxic mold in the apartment, recent deaths on the property, pesticide use, the location of a flood zone, among other things.
Your landlord is required by federal law to disclose if lead-based paint is present on the premises and to inform you of the risks associated with exposure. You may be required to sign a document to confirm that you received this information. If you find out that there is lead paint but were not informed ahead of time, your landlord could face large fines.
Many states also restrict the amount of money that a landlord may charge as a security deposit. They cannot charge more than two months’ rent as a deposit for an unfurnished apartment or three months’ rent for a furnished apartment. There are also requirements for how and when landlords must return security deposits. When you rent, it may be beneficial to thoroughly document the condition of the apartment when you first arrive and then when you move out, in case a dispute arises about whether you caused certain damage.
Hazards On Apartment Property
If you were injured on your apartment property, you might be wondering whether your landlord violated the law. In some states, if your landlord knows that there is a defective condition, they may have a duty to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury that could result from the hazard. Your landlord might be liable if they knew or should have known of the danger and did nothing about it. Their liability may also depend on the location of the unsafe condition.
In Common Areas
In most states, a landlord has a duty to inspect the areas of the property in which they have possession. When apartments are rented, the renter has possession of the unit. The landlord, however, will retain possession of the common areas of the apartment complex and must periodically inspect the common areas for defective conditions. If they knew or should have known about a hazard but failed to address it, they may be liable if you suffer injuries.
The law only requires a “reasonable,” “periodic” inspection by the landlord. The meaning of this may be open to interpretation by the courts. You might be able to imagine some examples of what may or may not qualify as “reasonable.” If the defective condition is one that they might not have been able to discover without an inspection by an expert, they might not be liable. In contrast, if the handrail in the stairwell comes off while you are using it, your landlord might be responsible for any injuries if the railing previously had been loose.
Similarly, “periodic” does not have a clear definition. As you can imagine, though, a landlord who inspects the premises every day may be less likely to be liable for injuries than a landlord who only conducts inspections every few months.
Within Apartment Units
If you were injured inside of the apartment unit that you are renting, your landlord is less likely to be liable, although it still is possible. If you just moved into your apartment and cut your foot on a sharp bathroom tile that was already broken when you moved in, your landlord might be liable for your injuries. However, if you caused the tile to break, your landlord might not be liable for any injuries you have suffered.
Your landlord is typically required to inspect the apartment for any hazards before turning over possession of the apartment to you. They must take reasonable precautions to prevent injuries from any issues that could be possible dangers. In the above example, your landlord perhaps should have discovered the broken tile and remedied the situation to prevent injuries.
After you move into the unit, though, your landlord might not be responsible for some hazards that arise. Once you have possession as the tenant, your landlord may not enter your apartment without your permission or notice. With this restriction, your landlord may no longer be required to inspect your apartment unit for dangerous conditions and may have no way of knowing about any issues. However, if you tell your landlord that there is a hazard in your apartment, and you give them permission to enter the unit, they might be required to eliminate the potential hazard.
If you apply to rent an apartment and your application is denied, you might have some idea of a legitimate reason why you were rejected, such as bad credit history or failure to pay your rent on time.
If you have excellent credit and perfect rental history, though, you might be confused why your application was denied. Unfortunately, sometimes unlawful discrimination may come into play.
If you are a member of a minority group—for example, if you are a person of color or are LGBTQ—you may suspect that your application was denied for that reason. In many states, it is illegal for a landlord to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or familial status. They also may not discriminate against you for receiving public assistance or for possessing certain personal traits or characteristics.
As long as the complex meets certain size requirements, your landlord may be liable for violating anti-discrimination laws. You should consult with an experienced landlord liability attorney to see whether you may have a case for discrimination against a landlord.
Evictions And Lease Termination
Landlords generally must follow certain procedures to evict a tenant or terminate a lease. Typically, a landlord must give you 30 days’ notice if you have been renting on a month-to-month basis for less than a year, or 60 days’ notice if you have been there for one year or more. Whether or not the landlord must have a valid reason to terminate your lease depends on the city, so consulting with an attorney regarding your lease termination can allow you to get clarity on your rights. Also, if you are in Section 8 housing, your landlord must provide a good reason why they are terminating your lease. The landlord typically must give you 90 days’ notice to move.
In some situations, your landlord may be able to give you as few as three days’ notice. This is reserved only for significant breaches of the lease agreement. This may include engaging in illegal activity on the property, subletting your apartment without permission, creating a significant nuisance, threatening others’ health and safety, or damaging the property to the point of diminishing its value. If you are behind on rent or breaking some terms of your lease, your landlord can give you notice that you must either get into compliance with the lease within three days or else move out of the apartment.
Selecting A Landlord Liability Attorney
If your landlord has breached your lease agreement or violated the laws governing the rights and responsibilities of landlords, or if they retaliated against you for attempting to enforce your rights as a tenant, you may be entitled to compensation or another remedy. You might be wondering whether or not you need the assistance of a landlord liability attorney. If you have already decided to hire an attorney, you might not know where to even begin to find one. Here are some reasons why hiring an attorney is a good idea, as well as some considerations for selecting a landlord liability attorney.
Why Should I Hire A Landlord Liability Attorney?
Increase Chances Of A Successful Outcome
Landlord-tenant law can be complex. An experienced landlord liability attorney will be aware of the nuances of the law and apply those to your case. The attorney would also be an asset during negotiations. They will know what the common outcomes are for such cases and can argue for the outcome that is most fair to you.
A landlord liability attorney may have experience with the judge on your case and have an idea of how receptive the judge would be to certain arguments. An attorney might also be familiar with the landlords or the attorneys in the field. They might be able to predict what approach the opposing party may take when defending their case, which can affect how your attorney crafts their arguments.
Determine Damages And Remedies
Valuing damages and deciding what remedies you want to seek are often some of the most difficult parts of a case for someone without experience in the field of landlord liability law. It can be hard to know what to ask for from the landlord — additional time prior to lease termination or eviction? Reimbursement of certain expenses? A specific repair in the apartment? A combination of remedies and damages? An experienced attorney can help you to determine what you deserve in your situation and can fight for your best interests.
Save Time And Stress
Housing issues may be among the most stressful challenges a person can face in their life. A landlord liability attorney handles these matters all of the time and can take the weight of figuring out what to do off of your shoulders. You may be able to come to a resolution more quickly and easily with the help of an experienced attorney. The relief from the stress can be invaluable.
How Do I Select An Attorney?
Reputation And Experience
While it may be tempting to go with the easiest option (e.g., an attorney who constantly advertises on television commercials or billboards), it is important to do your research on the attorney’s background and reputation. Some cases just do not have a legal basis to get what the client wants. At My Rights Law, our attorneys have years of experience handling contested matters for clients. We are known for our high quality of representation, and we feel confident that you would find that reputation to be well-founded.
Settlement And Trial Rates
Another detail that is helpful to know is whether an attorney ever takes cases to trial. While it may be preferable to settle your case quickly, having an attorney that is willing to go to trial if necessary may be helpful. As counterintuitive as this might sound, opposing counsel may be more likely to settle with an outcome more favorable to you just to avoid going to trial against an attorney known to be an effective litigator. This could end up saving you court costs and fees and may even get you a better outcome than you could get with an attorney known to settle quickly.
Attorney’s Fees And Costs
Before signing a retainer agreement, you need to understand the billing and fee arrangement concerning your attorney’s representation. Knowing when and how much you will be expected to pay is essential. It is also important to keep in mind that you may be responsible for any costs incurred for the case, in addition to attorney’s fees. Those costs could include filing fees, postage, and travel expenses, for example.
The attorneys at My Rights Law are an excellent choice to satisfy all of the above considerations and more. If you believe your landlord has violated your rights as a tenant, the experienced landlord liability attorneys at My Rights Law can answer your questions and help you to evaluate your legal options.
Apartment And Landlord Liability Lawyers
The skilled injury attorneys at My Rights Law know apartment and landlord liability. Our attorneys know how to hold bad landlords and other property owners accountable for the harm that they cause. We can help you determine your legal options against your landlord and can aggressively pursue your claims against them. We strive to help you obtain the most compensation possible for your landlord’s negligence or wrongdoing. To learn more about how My Rights Law can help you, call (888) 702-8882 or contact us by filling out our secure web form for a free consultation.
Landlord Tenant Lawyer FAQ
How Can A Landlord Tenant Lawyer Help Me?
An experienced landlord tenant lawyer, or a personal injury lawyer who takes up this type of law as one of their practice areas and who has knowledge and experience with bringing landlord tenant claims, can help clients get the most possible compensation from those landlords and other property owners who are to blame for their injuries, damages or losses. Because landlord tenant lawyers know about complex property laws and premises liability cases, and they often bring lawsuits on behalf of tenants, they know the legal process well and how to negotiate with defendants and their insurance companies regarding a resolution that works for you.
A free consultation with a personal injury attorney will enable you to establish whether you have a viable claim and what you should do throughout the legal process. The skilled attorneys at My Rights Law are keen on complex property laws and provide tenants with a free consultation to help them determine their legal options. My Rights Law isn’t just your average personal injury law firm. Our lawyers treat clients like family, and we value the attorney client relationship. Our personal injury lawyers work diligently to ensure that each of our clients gets compensation and justice for being mistreated, harmed, or otherwise injured by others.
What Causes Landlord Tenant Lawsuits?
When it comes to landlords, they have a responsibility to make their property safe and to uphold their end of the lease agreement with tenants. Their failure to do so could serve as the basis of a lawsuit. Anything that the landlord fails to do that results in harm to a tenant could lead to damages which could potentially enable that tenant to recover compensation. Also, people who are injured while on someone else’s rental property could take legal action against a landlord or the tenant. Your accident could have occurred because of a property owner’s or tenant’s failure to keep their property in a safe condition (e.g., dangerous stairways) or their failure to warn you of dangers on their property. Moreover, some instances of housing discrimination could also result in lawsuits against landlords when it comes to the leasing of properties.
What Kind Of Damages Do Tenants Get For Suing Property Owners?
If a landlord violated your lease agreement or otherwise harmed you, then you could sue them for breach of contract, which could result in damages being awarded to you (or another form of relief), depending on your circumstances. Whether you are a tenant or guest, you also might suffer serious injuries in an accident on the landlord’s unsafe property, so you could potentially sue your landlord for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other things that relate to your injuries. Because of the broad nature of landlord tenant lawsuits, for you to know what type of damages you might receive, you should speak with an attorney about your specific situation. Your lawyer should know how to negotiate with the landlord and their insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve.
Calling A Landlord Tenant Lawyer For Help
Did your landlord fail you? If so, then to make the most of your case, promptly pursue a consultation with an attorney who knows all about the state’s landlord tenant laws. A consultation with a landlord tenant lawyer can enable you to know what to do next from a legal standpoint.
The landlord tenant attorneys at My Rights Law are all about helping people get the best resolutions to their legal problems – and that includes helping tenants take action against bad landlords. For your consultation, we will thoroughly evaluate your circumstances and give you legal advice regarding your next steps. When you are ready to consult with My Rights Law’s skilled landlord tenant lawyers, give us a call at (888) 702-8882 or leave a message on our contact form.
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