The great tug of war between landlord and tenant’s rights; we shouldn’t let one bad apple ruin the bunch. The same can be said of landlords and tenants. We’ve heard good stories, bad stories, and even ugly ones. Some of us have experienced this firsthand. Depending on whom you ask, you’ll get a variety of answers on whether landlords or tenants should have more rights. You’ll also learn that some states in the Union tend to be more landlord or more tenant friendly when it comes to legislation and enforcement of the law for either party. Whether or not you are a landlord or tenant, a housing lawyer can help you figure out any legal issues you may have or you think may be on the rise. Below we take a look at some of the good, the bad, and the ugly stories of landlord and tenant disputes and consider how a housing lawyer can help you siphon out the practicalities for either side, no matter what side you may be.
Leasing: The Good
A great relationship between a landlord and tenant is not only ideal for both parties involved, but the economy as well. Google the words tenants and landlords, and you’re bound to get a hodgepodge of articles ranging from what rights landlords have, what rights tenants have, and more likely than not – you’ll get stories about tenants or landlords “from hell.”
The good experiences between landlords and tenants rarely make headlines. The media prefers to cover drama, and there’s nothing dramatic about a peaceful relationship between these two parties. Happy and respectful relationships between landlords and tenants do exist; they’re just not making news as often as the horror stories.
Nonetheless, a housing lawyer can assist in making a happy and respectful relationship between both parties. Ensuring that clear and fair lease terms exist between both landlords and tenants, (and those terms are mutually understood by both parties), is a great way to assist in creating a healthy relationship. Often times confusion sets in to what is the responsibility of whom when issues arise in a rental property. Problems will arise with plumbing, bugs, and more, and it is important that landlords and tenants know when they must step up to the plate to take care of a situation.
Landlord Tenant Disputes: The Bad
Landlord and tenant disputes are not unique to Florida either. Around the world, landlords and tenants have struggled to find balance and common ground. Sometimes one bad apple can seem to ruin the bunch. Take for instance an article that ran in The Telegraph from the United Kingdom last year titled “Landlords reveal their worst tenant nightmares – 11 renter horror stories”. The Telegraph received the rental horror stories from the online social news website and forum Reddit.
One of the contributors alleged that a friend who was a landlord had angry tenants that put dead fish in the walls. It took weeks to find out where the smell came from after the tenants left. Another landlord from Reddit stated, “I had a tenant remove the kitchen island and bring it outside by the pool because they needed an outdoor serving area.” Although these horror stories focus on the havoc brought on by some of the worst tenants ever, there are a few horror stories about landlords. (Molloy, 2016).
A BBC1 Series aired this Summer in the United Kingdom called The Week the Landlords Moved In, highlighting what some tenants are going through in the United Kingdom. The BBC1 series has the landlords of these properties, “spend a week in the life of one of their tenants”. The article says, “the show is an antidote to the “rogue tenant” output from some channels. Those featured are the working poor, victims of spiraling rents and low wages, paying their rent on time but unable to save to buy their own home.” When it comes to landlord and tenant disputes, bad apples come from both sides. (Collinson, 2017).
Eviction: The Ugly
During August of this past year, a tenant was shot and killed by their landlord’s son in the Florida Keys. According to the Miami Herald, the tenants had been served an eviction notice to leave the premises in a few days. As the landlord’s adult son arrived at the property, an altercation between the tenants and the adult son ensued shortly thereafter. The tenant was shot while his girlfriend was calling the police. A sad example of a landlord and tenant dispute gone horribly wrong. (Goodhue, 2017).
A housing lawyer can help you understand what your rights and responsibilities are as a landlord and as a tenant. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Consulting with a housing lawyer at the onset of your rental agreement, whether you are a landlord or tenant, is a smart way to get things running smoothly at the onset of the rental period. Our housing lawyers at Bret Jones, P.A. grasp the difficult and stressful situations that both landlords and tenants may face in a dispute. That is why our housing lawyers are ready to help you at the onset of your rental period, and if situations arise in which you need legal help. Having a housing lawyer at your side can help you feel easy when signing a lease agreement, and can give you the guidance you need if things are taking a turn for the worse.
Mark Molloy. (November 14, 2016). Landlords reveal their worst tenant nightmares – 11 renter horror stories. Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/14/landlords-reveal-their-worst-tenant-nightmares—11-renter-horro/
Patrick Collinson. (June 24, 2017). Life swap…landlords are being given the chance to live like their tenants. The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jun/24/renting-property-landlords-tenants-bbc-series-buy-to-let
David Goodhue. (August 19, 2017). Landlord kills tenant during eviction – as tenant’s girlfriend spoke with cops, police say, Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/florida-keys/article168224232.html