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The relationship between landlords and tenants can be quite difficult at times. When things go smoothly, both parties are able to benefit from each other. When there are disputes, however, problems can escalate into legal conflicts very quickly. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, being aware of things that commonly escalate serious disputes can help you to make the right decisions to avoid these types of problems.

Read through the following five common causes of disputes and how to avoid them, so that all parties involved can enjoy a positive experience.

Missed Payments

The most common cause of disputes between landlords and tenants has to do with missed payments. There are many reasons that a tenant may miss a payment, and when it happens, clear communication from both parties is essential. If you are a tenant and you know you are likely to miss an upcoming payment, it is best to notify your landlord as soon as possible so you can attempt to work out an arrangement in advance. If you are a landlord, the consequences of a late or missed payment should be clearly laid out in your renters’ agreement so there are no misunderstandings.

Disputes Over Security Deposit

When a lease comes to an end and the tenant moves out, they almost always expect to have their security deposit returned. Landlords, on the other hand, want to make sure that they are not losing money on the repairs, cleaning, and other things that need to be done in preparation for the next tenant. When the tenants are ready to leave the property, both parties should walk through and take pictures of the condition of the home or apartment. Any unreasonable damages should be noted and agreed upon (when possible). This will help to avoid any surprises when it comes to the security deposit. It may even be possible to compromise on what needs to be done so everyone can avoid unnecessary legal fees.

Unclear or Misunderstood Obligations

A good contract is critical for avoiding conflict between landlords and tenants. Having all of the rights and responsibilities of each party clearly listed will help to dramatically cut down on the risk of conflict. This should include information about when payments are due, late penalties, what will happen if payment is not received, and any other details about payments. It should also include things like how the tenant is supposed to report a problem, the landlord’s responsibility for fixing issues, and more.

Issues with Property Repairs

When things break due to normal wear, the landlord will typically be responsible for fixing them once they are reported. While the tenant should have reasonable expectations for how quickly something is fixed, the landlord cannot push off repairs just to avoid the responsibility. Once again, clear communication with this type of thing can go a long way. If the landlord is aware of a broken dishwasher, for example, they should let the tenant know that a new one has been ordered and will be installed in a week.

Breaking of the Lease

Most leases end at a specified date that was agreed upon in advance. There are times when a tenant needs to break the lease early. Rather than simply leaving, it is best to give the landlord as much advance notice as possible. While the landlord is within their legal rights to demand compensation for breaking the lease early, it is often best to be reasonable and compromise in order to ensure the landlord/tenant relationship ends on a positive note. This can also help to avoid legal fees, which benefits everyone.

Contact Us Today

Whether you are the landlord or the tenant, if your dispute may escalate into a legal matter, it is important to have effective representation on your side. Contact Capshaw & Associates to discuss your situation! We will help you to decide how to best move forward in a way that will get you the outcome you deserve.