If you're like many first-time landlords, you may have already decided to "wing it" when it comes to the majority of your beginning points in the real estate rental company. What could possibly go wrong, after all? Right? In reality, there are much more benefits than drawbacks to contacting a landlord/tenant attorney immediately once to get your case moving in the proper direction. You shouldn't just think about hiring one when you truly need one and are in over your head in trouble. In my opinion, prevention is the best approach to problem solving.
So here are a few compelling arguments in favor of hiring and establishing a working relationship with a capable landlord attorney to guide you through the costly and complex legal obligations a landlord may face in connection with their real estate, obligations that may have a significant negative impact on the return on your property investment.
The sad reality is that most states make it seem like the eviction process is simple and stress-free, despite their best efforts. Many landlords who attempt to go it alone later learn that the form they submitted was incorrect. The form was incorrectly filed one day earlier than it was supposed to be on the date that it was due. Then, once you've successfully completed the paperwork's jigsaw puzzle, you get to face a judge who, due to a poor morning, just decides he doesn't like the color of your shirt.
To be a professional, one must produce outcomes that are predictable. You'll save a ton of time, stress, and effort by working with an expert. They have the expertise and experience necessary to complete tasks correctly the first time, every time. They are able to execute the appropriate forms at the appropriate moments, greatly streamlining and accelerating the entire procedure. By working together, you might potentially save half the time and expenses associated with losing rent on your property while doing so. Every time you have to go through the procedure, I strongly advise hiring an eviction lawyer, but especially if;
- The renter takes part in a rent-subsidy scheme
- This is your first time being evicted
- Tenant has declared bankruptcy
- The tenant has engaged counsel and plans to contest the eviction
- The tenant is a worker you want to let go (property manager, groundskeeper etc.)
- Being charged/sued
It goes without saying that some applicants you turn down after a thorough tenant screening may feel, well, discriminated against. You will occasionally hear the fairly common phrase "I will sue you for discrimination!" however, for the most part, you shouldn't worry.
While the majority of landlords intentionally follow HUD's standards to ensure they are upholding fair housing policies to the best of their abilities, occasionally a tenant may decide to take the matter to court and you will receive the court order in the mail. If so, you might want to consider hiring a lawyer.
You might face a minimum fine of up to $16,000 per violation if it's your first offence, plus damages, costs, and other charges, if Housing and Urban Development (HUD) decides to look into the issue. Before an administrative law court reviews your case, hiring a lawyer may be able to help you manage the conflict. It may also help you avoid negative publicity and damage to your company's reputation.
As a landlord, you require legal representation for more than just evictions and discrimination cases. Eventually, you will occasionally find yourself on the plaintiff's side. If a contractor doesn't complete or performs a task incorrectly after being engaged to do so, you may elect to file a lawsuit. Alternately, you can find yourself back on the other side of the judge's desk because an ex-tenant wasn't happy with how you spent some of his security deposit.
It's always a good idea to at least get some coaching from your attorney that specializes in landlord and eviction law if you're going to court for anything, whether you're the defendant or the plaintiff, to make sure you have all your bases covered.
Ailment & Injury;
It is certainly time to engage a lawyer whenever one of their tenants or visitors asserts that they were injured or became unwell as a result of your carelessness. Personal injury cases are nearly often complex and highly emotional, and the attorneys handling the prosecution are far more familiar with the process than the typical landlord. A competent attorney will refrain from becoming personally invested in the case and maintain objectivity in the courtroom.
Significant Destruction/Damage of Property;
These claims frequently surface when, for example, a tenant's personal property, such as furniture and appliances, sustains damage after a roof collapses due to bad weather or improper roof care. Although the bulk of these instances should be covered by your liability insurance, it is a good idea to think about hiring a lawyer when the stakes are high. Before the matter is tried in small claims court, there is probably a remedy if the risks are low. To determine how to move forward, hiring a coaching session is always preferable to going it alone
Drafting the Lease Contract;
Possessing a strong lease agreement with your tenants is the easiest way to get out of trouble. In my opinion, one of the best investments you can make is a strong lease. Make sure you discuss all of your worries and points you want addressed in the lease stipulations with the landlord lawyer you have selected. Keep in mind that the lease is a never-ending safety net from potential future issues and hearings in small claims court. This item will need to be revised and reviewed again when new problems come up.
Corporate Restructuring of the Business;
You've operated your business as a sole owner for many years and have now chosen to bring in a partner. It's a good idea to employ a lawyer in the process so that he can prepare crucial legal contracts and handle any filings of paperwork required to legally establish your reorganized company. Your landlord lawyer can explain and take care of the tax and other legal repercussions of any business reorganization for you.
Keeping Your Reputation Intact;
Face it: a poor reputation hurts business. Sometimes, things happen, and you'll need assistance navigating the bad press and maybe cleaning up your reputation so that the bad headlines are amended or eliminated.
A lawyer can advise you on what to say and what not to say during the procedure and may even speak on your behalf. A competent attorney can also advise you on steps to take to promote your business or damaged property.
As you can see, there are several advantages to being acquainted with and developing a strong working relationship with a lawyer who focuses on landlord and eviction issues. The staff at EZ Eviction Inc. is always there to assist you in any way they can and to meet all of your legal needs.