While renting out your property is a great way to generate passive income, owning and leasing it comes with its own set of rules. There are obligations and laws to adhere to, which can become complicated if you aren’t well-versed in the process.
A property lawyer can help prevent legal disputes, protect your landlord rights, and resolve landlord-tenant conflicts if they ever arise. As a general rule, landlords do not always need a lawyer on staff to deal with everyday issues, but there are certain situations where consulting a legal expert becomes essential.
If you’re planning to become a landlord, here are five scenarios where hiring a property lawyer may be in your best interest.
1. To avoid legal trouble
If you’re becoming a landlord and want to stay informed about property laws and your legal rights, a DIY approach to law may not be the smartest idea.
It will require you to conduct extensive research about the law for your situation and stay on top of all the latest changes and amendments. Since tenancy laws are constantly changing, this can be very difficult to manage on your own.
Hiring a property lawyer means you can leave the research and nitty gritty up to the experts. Lawyers from LegalVision will be able to inform you about any laws that you should consider and help you avoid legal trouble when renting out your property.
They can also review important documents such as lease agreements, insurance policies, or purchase contracts, taking the hefty paperwork off your hands.
2. To create a fair tenancy agreement
If you want to draft an original lease agreement for your property, it’s always a good idea to enlist the help of an expert property lawyer.
Property lease agreements can be complex, and there’s no one better than a property lawyer to help you understand all the nitty-gritties of the document. A reliable property lawyer can ensure the lease agreement protects your rights and complies with all local laws. They can also help draft a lease agreement that is fair to both you and the tenant.
Plus, if you ever need to update your lease agreement, you can ask your attorney what changes need to be made to keep up with updated laws and changing circumstances.
3. For mediation with tenants
As a landlord, you always run the risk of entering into disagreements with your tenant. There are many potential areas of landlord-tenant conflict. Your tenant may cause damage to your property, could have noise complaints filed against them, may refuse to pay rent, make unreasonable requests, refuse to vacate your property once the lease has expired, and so on.
If you are dealing with such a problem, you may consider pursuing legal action against your tenant. However, officially opening a court case can be expensive, exhausting, and complicated, so you may not want to sue your tenant immediately.
If you’re dealing with a trouble tenant, you can hire a property lawyer to engage in mediation with them outside of court. Mediation is a cheaper, quicker, and less-stressful alternative where your lawyer can help you and your tenant find middle ground and ensure your rights are protected in the agreement.
4. To serve eviction notices
Eviction is the very last resort for landlords dealing with difficult tenants, and the process of evicting a tenant is much more complicated than you might think.
Not only does an eviction lawsuit take more time than regular civil cases, but there are also particular requirements landlords have to meet. For example, you have to ensure you serve the proper notice and give them adequate time to vacate the property.
If you’re ever in a situation where you’re forced to evict a tenant (especially if it’s your first time doing so), enlisting an attorney’s help can help make the process as smooth as possible.
There are other more complex circumstances where even an experienced landlord may require a lawyer’s help. For example, if your tenant has their own lawyer and is fighting the eviction, is part of a housing program, is filing for bankruptcy, or is also your employee, the legal matter becomes much more complicated.
The expertise and knowledge of a property lawyer can help you navigate this tricky process and ensure you don’t end up with an unfair deal.
5. To defend you
While your first option should always be to try and resolve any disputes with your tenant outside of court, sometimes your tenant may feel as if appealing to the courts is the only way to solve the issue. If you ever find yourself at the receiving end of a lawsuit, you should reach out to an expert property attorney as soon as possible.
As a landlord, you should be aware of the possible scenarios in which a tenant can pursue legal action against you. You can be sued for not paying back your tenant’s security deposit, breaking eviction laws, being behind on maintenance and repair work, unfairly increasing rent, and causing emotional distress to the tenant, among other reasons.
In any of these circumstances, an expert property lawyer can help you raise appropriate defences, represent your rights in court, and ensure paperwork and legal documents are filed promptly.
Remember, property laws and tenancy agreements are complex, and you shouldn’t have to go through the process alone. Hiring an expert property lawyer will give you the peace of mind of knowing you will be well-represented should any disputes arise in the future.