Living in a house that needs repairs can be complicated. Problems such as broken pipes, cracked tiles, or faulty wiring can make home operations much less convenient. Besides, they also present an additional risk to your health and safety. If you live on a rental property, it would most likely be your landlord’s responsibility to maintain and fix significant issues around the house.
However, some property owners can be elusive or negligent, forcing tenants to take drastic actions. This article is for you if you feel overwhelmed by what questions to ask your lawyer and other judicial processes. We’re tackling 5 legitimate reasons to sue your landlord below:
5 Legitimate Reasons Tenants Can Sue their Landlords
They Violate the Warranty of Habitability
Failing to address an uninhabitable unit is one of the most significant reasons renters sue their landlords. Under standard rental agreements, landlords and tenants are responsible for the apartment. If the property owner fails to fix issues that violate the tenant’s implied warranty of habitability, they could rightly find themselves in court. Structural issues, pest infestation, and mold growth are problems that contribute to uninhabitable living conditions.
They Turn Off Utilities
A home can’t function without certain utilities such as electricity, water, and gas. In some rental arrangements, tenants pay a fee to their landlord to provide such amenities. However, a landlord sometimes tries to withhold these provisions to force tenants to leave without following proper eviction or notice requirements. You can discuss concerns with your property manager if you feel the disconnection might be a mistake. Although, if you’re sure the problem is due to your landlord’s negligence or a form of intimidation, that calls for action. The property owner cannot legally turn off your utilities as restitution even if you’re late on your rent. There are appropriate channels to follow when dealing with a defaulting tenant.
You’re Injured on the Premises
Some unattended issues can become a safety hazard on the property. For example, absent lights in common areas and shaking railings could easily make someone trip. If you sustain an injury on your premises due to your landlord’s negligence, you can take them to cou3rt as well. After all, the accident could’ve been avoided if they had made repairs at the appropriate time. Thus, a court can mandate that your landlord fix the issue immediately and reimburse you for your pain and medical bills. You can also cap lost wages if the injury made you unavoidably absent from work.
They Withhold Your Security Deposit
Security deposits are one of the most common sources of disputes between landlords and their tenants. Most property owners require tenants to pay a standard security deposit in addition to their usual rent. These funds go towards covering any repairs and unpaid rent at the end of the lease term. Since it is also a refundable fee, the law entitles tenants to receive the balance after their tenancy is over. However, sometimes landlords try to withhold this security deposit illegally. The best way to avoid such a scenario is to keep receipts of repairs your landlord makes, take good care of your unit, and be present for the move-in and move-out inspections.
They Fail to Reimburse You for Repairs
Instead of waiting for the landlord to come around, some tenants find it easier to take the initiative and make repairs themselves. This action is usually standard amongst renters with long-distance or difficult-to-reach landlords. Even when the repair isn’t their responsibility, most people make these fixes because the problems are mainly inconvenient. In such a scenario, you can expect full reimbursement from your landlord. Thus, if they refuse, you can sue them.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
To Know Your Rights
Despite how clear-cut the scenarios we’ve laid out seem, each case varies from one to the next. In other words, if your situation isn’t clear-cut, you might not be sure the property owner is committing an offense. Real estate lawyers can educate you on why tenants can rightfully sue their landlords.
To Get Expert Legal Advice
If you decide to pursue legal actions against your landlord, then it would be better to have expert advice. Seeking consultation from a professional lawyer can guide you and ensure you stay on the right path.
To Have Fair Representation
Although most landlord-tenant disputes end up in small claims court, some states allow you to bring a lawyer. In such a scenario, hiring the best representation and ensuring the best outcome would be helpful.
As a tenant, you have the right to live in a house that meets standard habitability requirements. Thus, if any property owner threatens your safety or health by ignoring significant problems in the apartment, you can take them to court. As shown in this article, there are five legitimate reasons to sue your landlord for repairs. Violating the warranty of habitability, turning off utilities, and sustaining an injury on the premises are some of the most common. However, if you take it upon yourself to resolve the issue or feel your landlord is overcharging, you can file a lawsuit.
Of course, it would be best to hire legal representation. Having an expert real estate lawyer on your side can help you understand your rights, make the process smoother, and ensure you receive fair representation.
I am Arjun Kumar. I am the owner and administrator of Finance Gradeup. I have completed my education in Arts & Technology. Arjun Kumar usually has interests in playing games, reading and writing. He was a brilliant student during his college days. He also works for many private companies, but the main interest of Arjun Kumar is digital marketing. He thinks that reading is a must before providing any quality information to his readers. You can find Arjun Kumar on much social media handles online, or you can learn more about him in about us page.