Occasionally, both landlords and their tenants may need to seek legal advice on their rights and obligations or resolve any disputes that have arisen. Disputes between landlords and tenants can occur for a variety of reasons whether this be over payment or damages to the property.
While disputes between landlords and tenants can be caused by any number of reasons, there are some common causes such as rent arrears, property damage, eviction issues, deposit disputes, as well as maintenance and repairs to the property.
Rent arrears is common dispute among landlords and tenants caused by failure to pay rent on time or at all. During these kinds of disputes it is important to understand your rights as either a landlord or a tenant to try and ensure the desired outcome is reached.
Damage to property is another common cause of landlord-tenant disputes. The root of these disputes is often the cause of the damage, whether it be the natural wear and tear or whether it is actions of the tenant that resulted in damage to the property.
In some cases, the circumstances or method of eviction can create a dispute between a landlord and their tenant. It is important for either party to understand their rights and obligations as well as the legal process that should be taken when evicting a tenant from a property.
Another common dispute is over the return of a tenant's deposit. If you believe your landlord is withholding your deposit without cause or if you believe you have a case to withhold a tenant’s deposit then please contact our team!
It is a legal obligation of landlords to ensure that the property is maintained to a certain standard. If a tenant believes that this obligation has not been to be met, it could cause a dispute.
As a landlord and as a tenant you have rights and responsibilities under the law. It is essential that you understand these in order to avoid disputes or legal troubles.
Landlords have specific responsibilities when it comes to maintaining the property and when it comes to not infringing on the rights of their tenants. In most cases you will have to check the tenant’s right to rent, register their deposit in a Deposit Protection Scheme, and provide a copy of the How to Rent Guide.
Other responsibilities that are required of landlords include:
As a tenant, it is expected that you occupy the property in a “tenant-like” manner. This means that you should undertake any maintenance that is reasonable or that a normal householder would do. This could include things such as:
Additionally, as a tenant you must report any issues with the property to the landlord as well as provide access to the property at reasonable times so that the landlord can complete inspections or carry out repairs.
It’s not rare for disputes to occur between landlords and their tenants. However, there are actions that can be taken to try and prevent disputes.
Maintaining effective communication with your landlord or tenant is an excellent first step to preventing disputes. This is because with open communication any issues can be identified and resolved sooner.
Proper documentation on the side of both parties is an extremely effective way of preventing disputes. Keep records of all transactions, communications, and any issues that arise as this will be important information to have if a dispute does arise.
If a dispute cannot be resolved, mediation services are a good first step to take with a third party to help avoid escalating the dispute to the courts and escaping the court fees.
There are various legal avenues that can be taken to resolve landlord and tenant disputes.
Mediation can be an excellent tool to help negotiate a resolution to a dispute. Mediation is a structured, interactive process where a neutral third party assists both parties in coming to a conclusion of their dispute.
While some disputes may be escalated to the courts, it is recommended that other avenues are taken before this step. This is because the cost of escalating a dispute to a court is compounded by expensive court and solicitor fees.
There are also other alternative methods of dispute resolution, for example and ombudsman service. An ombudsman service is an independent body that reviews complaints and disputes and determines the outcome.
Here at Lovedays Solicitors we can help guide you through resolving your dispute. Our solicitors can help you to understand your legal rights and responsibilities and negotiate settlements. On top of this, our team can also represent you in court and undertake mediation services to help resolve the dispute outside of the courts.
If you don’t know your leasehold from your freehold, then get our Free Conveyancing Guide. It contains details about the steps you will need to take with any property transactions. The Guide giving you detailed guidance on what your lawyer will be doing for you and what to look out for.
Lovedays Solicitors, Potter and Co Solicitors and Andrew Macbeth Cash and Co Solicitors are the trading names of Derbyshire Legal Services Limited which is a company registered in England and Wales under company number 08838592. Registered office Sherwood House, 1 Snitterton Road, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3LZ.
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