What Are Some Common Landlord-Tenant Disputes?

What are some common landlord-tenant disputes? A clear and well-understood lease agreement can prevent many kinds of landlord-tenant disputes. The most common of these disputes include repairs and pets. The property manager is trained and skilled in landlord-tenant dispute resolution.

Some of the most common disputes between landlords and tenants involve nuisance behaviors such as loud music, rowdy guests, unkempt property and other annoyances.

Usually the landlord has to intervene because he or she has received several complaints from other tenants regarding another resident's behavior. When confronted, many of them will either take offense or claim that their actions are justified or permitted under the current lease agreement. A prime example of this is the disputes over pets that occur in apartment complexes and subdivisions across the country.

A tenant may be in possession of a pet that is creating a nuisance by engaging in excessive barking, urinating in hallways or other common areas or damaging other people's property and the landlord is forced top confront the tenant about the issue. "If a tenant brings in a pet in, for example, midterm on a lease and the lease does not provide for a pet, that could be a dispute. However, the tenant may have reasons why they want a pet there, but, of course, the landlord or owner did not want the pet there, because of potential pet damages either from smell of urine in the carpet or from the pat scratching on doors. So, the property manager intercedes for the owner of the property.

He or she either analyses the situation or agrees that to keep the pet the tenant pay a pet deposit or diplomatically explains that the pet can't stay because that wasn't part of the deal," explains Gary Knippa, a property management company owner with over 30 years of experience in the real estate business.

Landlords and tenants also frequently clash over housekeeping and upkeep. "Occasionally you will see situations where a tenant may not mow the yard as frequently as they should or they park vehicles in the yard then the property manager steps in to deal with that sort of thing," Knippa says.

Another common problem that exists between landlords and tenants is disagreements over maintenance and repairs. "A dispute could be, very typically, regarding the condition of the property, like if the air conditioner has problems...typically it's repair items," says Knippa. A tenant may be unhappy over slow repairs or shoddy workmanship, or a landlord may contend that he or she is not responsible for a particular maintenance issue because the damage of the property was the fault of the tenant. Many of these issues can be easily avoided if both parties pay attention to the lease agreement and make sure they understand what their rights ands responsibilities are.

Knippa goes on to say that when it comes to handling landlord-tenant disputes (or better yet avoiding them all together), it is always in the best interest of both parties to try to amicably resolve the matter before it becomes a legal issue. "Communication, as in all relationships is the best way to go. People need to communicate with each other, laying out in good faith what the expectations are and what the preferred remedy would be. If it gets to the point to where that does not work, the next step (if it is a violation on the tenant's part) would be to see if it can be resolved. The remedy for the owner is eviction if it is a default of the lease. But again, before it goes to eviction, the tenant can appeal that eviction let a judge decide."

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