Tenants don’t sue often. Most times a landlord is threatened with court it’s an empty threat. But it does happen and it is rarely expected. Understanding the most common reasons for a lawsuit is the first step to avoiding them.
Here are the 4 most common reasons tenants sue:
Mishandled Security Deposit
Laws about security deposits vary from state to state and can be tricky to keep up with. However, there are very specific reasons you are allowed to withhold a tenants security deposit, so you need to stay on top of the law. If you illegaly withhold part of a security deposit, your tenant can rightfully sue you. You also need to return the security deposit within a set number of days, which should be clearly stated in the lease.
The good news: At Metro REIG we have a legal team to review all our leases and documents. We have the time to stay up with local laws to prevent any mishandling of a security deposit.
Illegal Lease Clauses
It’s easy to get carried away when writing a lease, but there are restrictions you need to be aware of. You can’t include clauses that limit the free speech of your tenant, don’t allow service animals or state that you are not responsible for repairs. Many things are dictated by Colorado state law, such as notice for entering the unit.
The good news: As stated above, Metro REIG consults a legal team for all our documents to ensure they are in line with local Denver, Broomfield and Boulder laws.
As a landlord, you can only enter your tenant’s unit for a few specific reasons and you must give proper notice. Violating these terms is never worth it as it can land you in court. Set clear guidelines in your lease that are in compliance with Colorado law and stick to them. Also keep contact information, such as phone number and email address, updated for all your tenants so you are able to give them notice.
The good news: As a full-service property management company, Metro REIG understands how important it is to give tenants notice. We’ll manage all the maintenance so you don’t have to worry.
Failure to Complete Repairs
You are legally required to provide a unit that is habitable for your tenants. This means the unit needs to have running water, heat, be generally pest free and be free of mold and lead paint. If at any time there is damage to the unit that causes the unit to be uninhabitable, you are required to complete repairs in a timely manner. If you don’t, your tenants are able to sue you or withhold rent.
The good news: At Metro REIG we complete move out and move in inspections to ensure the unit is in good condition. Our local maintenance team is trustworthy and on call to repair even the worst problems.
As a landlord, encountering legal issues is stressful and you don’t want to spend your time worrying about making a wrong move and ending up in court. Metro REIG is ready to begin managing your Boulder area property so you can know you are in compliance with local laws. Contact us today.