Have questions as a landlord or a tenant?
The federal, state, and local rules governing landlords and tenants can be complex and hard to fathom. But not knowing your rights and responsibilities can result in big trouble, for landlords (vacancies, lawsuits, property damage) and tenants alike (hassles with owners, evictions, losing your security deposit). Get your tenancy off to the right start -- or nip a problem in the bud, by learning the details on:
Sometimes the answers to your questions are straightforward; sometimes, you’ll need the advice of a knowledgeable attorney. For fair housing issues and injuries caused by defects on the premises, you’ll benefit from professional advice.
Looking for a lawyer?
At Lawyers.com, you’ll find a user-friendly search tool that allows you to tailor results by area of law and geography. You can also search for attorneys by name. Attorney profiles prominently display contact information, list topics of expertise, and show ratings—by both clients and other legal professionals.
Ready to Meet With a Lawyer?
Before hiring a lawyer or law firm, find out whether the firm represents mainly landlords or tenants--most of the time, you’ll want a lawyer who’s “on your side.” Make sure to speak directly—preferably in person—to the attorney who will be primarily responsible for handling your case. Consider bringing to the conversation a list of questions and any documentation related to your case. Remember that you don’t need to hire the first lawyer you consult and that, first and foremost, you want a lawyer you trust.
What to Ask a Lawyer
When gathering your thoughts and documents, think about what you’ll want to ask the lawyer. Consider including on your list questions about:
- Deposits: How large, how should they be used, when should the landlord return them?
- Privacy: When can landlords enter, and for what reasons?
- Repairs: What is the landlord responsible for, and how can tenants get results?
- Discrimination: What’s illegal, as opposed to good business discretion?
- Terminations and evictions: How can a landlord terminate a tenancy, and when is eviction justified?
- the lawyer’s experience with cases like yours (if rent control is involved, how many matters has this lawyer handled?)
- whether the lawyer practices in the local court that will handle your case
- how often the lawyer goes to trial (as opposed to settling)