By Brandon Allen, McDonald, Levy and Taylor, PLLC Attorney
If you have entered into a lease for a home or apartment, you are probably aware of the thick lease that is often required before the keys are handed over. If you’re like many residential tenants, you may not read all the fine print before signing the agreement that binds you to your new home for six, twelve, eighteen, or even twenty-four months in some cases. So what happens after you sign? Well, typically you are bound by the covenants within the lease, unless there is something illegal in the lease or a clause which may be against public policy. But you also have rights.
For example, your landlord is required to provide quiet enjoyment of the property. This means that your landlord is not entitled to rent you an apartment, and then help himself to snacks from your refrigerator when he stops by to check on the outdoor sprinkler system. Your landlord is also unable to cut essential services in order to compel you to pay rent, such as turning off the gas in the winter or cutting the electricity.
So what if you’re the landlord?
Good news, you also have rights. A tenant cannot live in your house for free forever. While a landlord is not able to resort to self-help immediately, such as throwing furniture from the house into the yard, an eviction process exists that serves to lawfully remove tenants from homes that have stopped making payments. Landlords may also be entitled to compensation for damages that tenants caused during their stay or on the way out while they were moving.
MLT is familiar with landlord/tenant law and offers representation
MLT is familiar with landlord/tenant law and offers representation regardless of which side you are on. This area of the law may be complex and should be approached correctly from the beginning, in order to avoid wasted time and higher litigation costs during the process. If you are in need of legal help regarding your landlord/ tenant issue, contact us today for a consultation. We are happy to help determine your best path forward.