Being a landlord means dealing with tenants. Part of the job is handling rental disputes with their customers. While many issues can be resolved with simple communication, how do you know when legal assistance is required? Here are a few common situations in which lawyers for landlords are beneficial.
Buying or selling property
The first step in leasing out a rental unit is to purchase the property. While real estate is something many Americans are familiar with, it can be a complex process. Since you are purchasing property for your business, it is imperative to avoid any legal risks. A lawyer can provide thorough consultation to avoid common mistakes in the purchasing and selling of real estate for your rental business.
Drafting a lease agreement
When renting out a property to tenants, you will want to have an air-tight lease to protect yourself and your property. As a landlord, you are required to understand your many responsibilities to your tenants. It is a good idea to hire an experienced attorney if it is your first time creating a lease because they are familiar with housing regulations and tenants’ rights. Having your lease professionally drafted will save you time and future frustrations.
Lawsuits against the landlord
- Housing discrimination lawsuits
It is important to understand state and local housing laws when running a rental business. According to Texas’ Fair Housing Act, there are seven protected classes against landlord discrimination:
- National origin
- Familial status
Should a landlord find themselves in a potential discrimination investigation, they should contact a landlord tenant law attorney.
- Personal injury lawsuits
Texas landlords are legally obligated to ensure that their rental property is reasonably free of hazards. A tenant could file a personal injury lawsuit if they sustained an injury on your rental property as a direct result of your negligence. Navigating a personal injury lawsuit can be stressful and difficult, so it is a good idea to hire an attorney with experience in these situations.
- Property Damage lawsuits
A tenant could also sue you for damage to their personal property as a direct result of your negligence. Typically, these lawsuits are handled out-of-court and a lawyer on your behalf is not always necessary. However, if you believe you are not to blame for your tenant’s damaged property, you could contact your lawyer for brief legal counseling.
Evicting a tenant
Having a tenant removed from your rental property can be a difficult, but necessary, decision. There is a specific process to follow in the state of Texas before a tenant can be lawfully evicted. First, a landlord must provide the tenant with a written notice. If the tenant has not moved out after receiving the notice, the landlord can file for an eviction lawsuit. Winning the eviction lawsuit is the only legal way to have a tenant removed from a rental property in Texas. While many landlords successfully have tenants evicted on their own, it is wise to involve a lawyer to ensure an accurate and speedy process.
For these listed reasons and many more, having a lawyer on your side can make your job as landlord much easier. As an experienced, small business and real estate attorney, Dan Burke can provide everything from preventative legal counsel to support in urgent legal issues for landlords. If you own a rental business and find yourself in any of these situations, contact Dan Burke to schedule a free consultation.