Renting a property can be convenient and more affordable, but also presents several unique challenges that homeowners do not face. Even the healthiest landlord-tenant relationship can have minor disagreements that can become major if not addressed in a timely fashion. Some of the most common residential landlord-tenant disputes involve the following issues:
- Tenant’s failure to pay rent on time
- Tenant’s failure to follow community guidelines
- Landlord’s failure to return security deposit
- Landlord’s failure to properly maintain property/perform repairs
- Interference with tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property (habitability issues)
- Property damage
- Pet deposits and restrictions
Preventing and resolving landlord-tenant disputes
Landlords and tenants should do everything possible to prevent disputes from arising in the first place. Both landlords and tenants should review the lease agreement, as well as Michigan landlord-tenant laws, so they are aware of their rights and what is expected of them. Both sides should also keep a careful record of any problems that arise during the tenant’s time on the property and notify each other of these problems as soon as they arise.
However, even the most reasonable landlords and tenants may not be able resolve all their issues just by talking them out. The parties can hire their own real estate attorneys, as well as a third-party mediator, to try to settle their issues outside of the courtroom. However, if the parties cannot come to an agreement, filing a claim in court may be the only option. Small claims courts will often hear cases involving unpaid rent or another basic landlord-tenant issue and resolve them quickly.
It can be difficult to handle a landlord-tenant dispute on your own without the help of a qualified attorney specializing in these matters. Your attorney can help you navigate the issues that arise and advise on you on what steps to take.