When to Bring in an Attorney During Landlord/Tenant Disputes
Landlord/tenant relationships are one of the most marked and historic relationships in society. The concept of a tenant occupying and utilizing a piece of the land owner’s property in exchange for a fee or a percentage of profit is something that has been in place for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
In this day and age, landlord/tenant relationships typically center around a homeowner renting out a home or a portion of a home to a person who pays rent. The tenant/landlord relationship should be straightforward, simple, and mutually beneficial to both parties when executed correctly. One party receives a home, the other is compensated for providing this home. However, issues and problems can occur. If you are involved in an unresolved dispute with your landlord, you should know that U.S. law gives protections to tenants. While certain issues might be easily resolved without bringing in legal experts, some circumstances might require legal intervention. Particularly if you suspect that your safety or legal rights have been compromised.
If you find yourself in any of the circumstances below, it would be a good idea to consult with an attorney to ensure that you protect your interests moving forward.
Harassment and/or Eviction Threats
As you are likely well aware, landlords also have rights protecting them through the course of the landlord/tenant relationship. Under certain circumstances your landlord WILL have the right to evict you. However, no one ever has the right to inappropriately harass you or evict you without following the proper processes under the law.
If you do fear that eviction is coming, the skilled attorneys at Suncoast Civil law can help you to defend your position and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome in your case. It is particularly important to note that landlords are not permitted to do certain things – such as evict you as a form of retaliation, charge illegal fees, remove your possessions without appropriate approval, or use hate speech against you. If you suspect any of these items are occurring then a seasoned attorney may be able to help.
Landlord Refuses to Make Repairs
Landlords are required to provide tenants with a habitable space. A home that is unsafe, and/or otherwise does not comply with required housing codes and standards is not habitable.
If your landlord refuses or fails to provide habitable conditions, the law provides that tenants have options. Depending on the situation, some of these include reimbursement for fixing the issue yourself, and withholding a portion of rent to account for the inhabitable space. An experienced attorney can further advise you of your rights in your particular case.
In accordance with federal law, specifically the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Federal Fair Housing Act Amendment Acts of 1988, it is illegal to discriminate against a person based on one of the specifically listed categories. These categories are old age, familial origin, sex, disability, race, color, religion, or national status.
A landlord may never, at any point in time, discriminate in one of the above ways. This includes in advertising the renting of the apartment, in setting standards for selecting their tenant, in listing the reasons for termination, etc. If improper discrimination has occurred you are able to file complaints against the landlord. A skilled attorney can also advise on potential next steps moving forward.
Contact Suncoast Civil Law
You should never feel that your home may be taken away unfairly. If you are contending with a landlord/tenant dispute, contact the experienced Sarasota civil litigation lawyers at Suncoast Civil Law.