Anytime you have a dispute with someone, you need to give them the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes the only thing you can control in a situation is your behavior. Here are some tips on how to handle legal issues with your landlord.
Have the Facts
Know what your rights are under the law. Do some research so that you’re well informed about your next steps. This may be that you’re about to sign a rental agreement or you have a dispute with your deposit. Each state may have its own set of rules when it comes to renting. Some cities even have stricter requirements when it comes to the tenant-landlord relationship. You may be able to discuss the discrepancy in a more reasonable manner once you have all the facts.
Put It in Writing
Verbal agreements rely on the trust between each party to hold up their end of the bargain. If you have to take this to court, it becomes your word against your landlord’s. Make sure to put everything in writing. This is your documentation trail if things don’t work out. Your landlord can’t say that they were unaware of your issue if you have proof of providing them with your grievance. It may even make it a non-issue if you have to enter into mediation.
Maintain a calm and cool composure throughout the dispute. If you overreact or act out, it can work against you. This may give your landlord the fuel that they need in order to win your dispute. Make sure to keep any written contacts between you and your landlord strictly professional. Don’t resort to name calling or finger pointing. Your landlord may use this against you if you have to take the issue to court. Pretend your mother is standing next to you and judging your behavior.
Seek Legal Advice
If you aren’t able to resolve your dispute with your landlord, seek out legal advice from a lawyer, such as those from Hart Law Offices, PC. Don’t threaten your landlord by saying that you’re going to sue them. Calmly let them know that you will be getting representation. A lawyer can tell you what steps need to be taken in order to resolve the issue. This is where your documentation will work in your favor. Your lawyer can present this evidence to the judge. If everything looks legitimate, the dispute may resolve before you actually have to enter a courtroom.
Following these tips will allow you to professionally handle any dispute you may have with your landlord. Be civil and take responsibility for your own actions in the matter.
Author Info: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can find her on Twitter.