Often there are disputes between landlords and tenants at one point or another during the duration of a lease. There are various reasons why disputes arise, some may include disputes over the actual lease agreement, tenant rights, repairs, rent, eviction, and more. In some instances, these issues can be resolved without involving a Long Island landlord-tenant lawyer. Other times, a lawyer is necessary.
Here are 4 quick tips to help both tenants and landlords avoid litigation:
- Tenants should carefully read and review the lease contract prior to signing. Be aware of your legal rights and responsibilities contained within the lease and in accordance with local, state and federal laws.
- If either party discovers a problem, they should notify the other party immediately. Be open and honest in your communications and dealings with the other party.
- If there are any problems with either the property or the tenancy, be sure to make hard copies of all notes and correspondence. You might need them if a lawyer gets involved.
- It is important for both landlords and tenants to be aware of and know the laws that pertain to their location. A copy of these laws can be obtained from local sources or from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Do You Need to Hire an Attorney to Resolve Disputes Outside of Court?
Not all disputes between landlords and tenants can be settled with a simple conversation. While communication can’t always resolve conflicts, there are still a few things you can do before hiring a lawyer. Hiring an independent, third-party mediator can help both sides come to an agreement. Often mediators’ authority is misrepresented and they’re compared to a judge, when in reality they have no authority to bind either party to an agreement. A mediator is simply there to facilitate communication. Most mediators can be hired for a low cost, from either a private entity or from state or local bar associations.
What Court Should You Go to if You Can’t Settle Your Dispute Outside of Court?
After unsuccessfully attempting to resolve disputes with communication and mediation, you’ll have to resolve the conflict in small claims court. In order for a case to be heard in small claims court, the case must involve some amount of money, such as past due rent or an unreturned security deposit.
As the name implies, most small claims courts dictate that the amount of the dispute does not exceed $5,000. If the amount of money you are suing for exceeds this amount, hire a Long Island landlord-tenant lawyer to file your lawsuit with the appropriate court.
Warren S. Dank, ESQ., P.C., resolves disputes between landlords and tenants across New York City. If you need legal advice to help resolve a tenant-landlord conflict, contact the office of Warren S. Dank, ESQ., P.C., today.