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Landlord / Tenant Law

Landlord-Tenant Lawyer Referrals

If you would like to be connected to an experienced landlord and tenant lawyer, call Attorney Search Network for a free referral.

The rental of both commercial and residential property is governed by landlord-tenant laws. This type of law regulates the relationship between tenants and landlords and both parties have certain rights under the law. Many states’ statutory law stems from either the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA) or the Model Residential Landlord-Tenant Code. In the event that there is a national or regional emergency, federal statutory law that governs landlord-tenant relations may come into play. Federal law may also become a factor in order to avoid certain situations of discrimination.

Legally, the relations between landlords and tenants are mainly controlled by contract and property law, with the tenant having an interest in property and land. The tenant’s property interest can be for a temporary amount of time, for an indefinite amount of time (for instance renewable tenancy), terminable by either the tenant or landlord’s will, or the tenant may hold over the title after it has been terminated.

According to the Restatement of The Law 2d Property: Landlord and Tenant § § 1.4-1.8, whether a tenancy is arranged for a temporary or indefinite time period, the tenant has the legal right to hold the property and land, to prohibit the landlord and other people from entering it, and to sublease or assign the property. However, the agreement between landlords and tenants, which is typically in the form of a lease, can do away with or limit those tenant rights. The provisions in a lease are usually managed by statutory law. Inherent in a lease is the assumption that quiet enjoyment will ensue for both parties. If there is a breach of the agreement of quiet enjoyment, it may be for actual or constructive reasons. A constructive eviction is defined by the landlord making the property uninhabitable in some way.

Housing codes were created in order to regulate residential property rentals so that landlords maintain their standards of livability. The penalties for housing code violations vary from state to state, but they generally can prompt legal action or the tenant having the right to refuse to pay rent until the issue is resolved. Warranties of habitability also help ensure that residential rental units remain habitable. Many different consequences may arise if a landlord does not comply with housing codes, including constructive eviction, the tenant having the right to withhold rent, getting the problem fixed and then taking the repair costs out of the tenant’s rent, and the right of the tenant to recover damages.

For commercial properties, the amount of rent paid is often a percentage of what the tenant sells. In both commercial and residential leases, rent acceleration is commonly the consequence if a tenant violates the lease in some way, making the tenant pay all the rent at once. Summary eviction statutes were established to ensure that if a tenant breaches a lease or rental contract, the landlord has the right to quickly evict the tenant. Self-help is a form of eviction that is typically illegal, even in situations in which a tenant has held over after the termination of a lease. Moreover, it is illegal for landlords to evict tenants as a form of revenge after tenants took steps to uphold his or her rights as outlined in lease provisions.

If you are a landlord or a tenant and are experiencing any landlord-tenant law issues, including problems with evictions, discrimination, inhabitability, security deposits, housing code violations, unlawful detainer action, etc., you should consider hiring a landlord and tenant lawyer. A lawyer can assess your legal issue and make sure that your rights as a tenant or landlord are being properly protected. Contact Attorney Search Network to be referred to an experienced and pre-screened landlord and tenant attorney.

Contact Attorney Search Network for a Lawyer Referral in your local area with Malpractice experience.