Landlord vs. tenant: the reasons for disputes

If you have some experience in the real estate department, you know that the relationship between a landlord and his or her tenant is not always a jolly ride. This relationship has often been filled with misunderstanding and disagreements. Some of them can be solved with a conversation, a notice or some repairs. Some others have to be taken to court for a longer and more expensive battle.

But, why is it that these fights start?

Well, in too many cases it is because the tenant fails to pay the rent. This is the primary cause of disputes between landlords and tenants. Sometimes it is difficult to make ends meet, and people just can’t scrape enough together to pay the rent. Sadly, rent is also the way the landlord makes ends meet, so it is an amount of money that should be respected.

In some cases, the tenant wants to cancel the lease before it actually ends. This can be a wish, but it can only be done under very specific and special situations. For example, if the landlord neglects important responsibilities, the tenant can cancel the lease and leave the property. If the facilities being rented are not in good condition for the tenant to use or live, the landlord has to make the repairs to improve the place. If this is not done, then the tenant can ask the authorities to cancel the lease agreement.

Some more violent cases could lead to a lease cancellation if the tenant feels that his or her life is in danger they can ask for cancellation. Otherwise, leaving a place without canceling the lease will only bring about trouble for the tenant and some bothersome legalities for the landlord to collect any rent or money for damages.

Main reasons behind the dispute 

Many fights are just the result of lack of knowledge by one or both parties. If a tenant or a landlord knows exactly what their responsibilities are, there should be no problem with the rental process. Some people have the money to pay rent, but they do not realize there are other rules to follow. And, sometimes landlords think that just by having a place to rent they are going to be rich and carefree. Both parties have responsibilities, and these should be clearly listed in the agreement to be signed. 

Landlord responsibilities

  1. Deliver possession to the tenant

It may sound obvious, but a tenant should not sign a lease agreement of a place that is not vacant. Some landlords are not aware of the fact that the dates established in the lease agreement are of the utmost importance. The property has to be available for the new tenant as soon as the lease agreement establishes it. If there is a wrongful holdover, the landlord has to carry out some legal action to make them quit the property so that it is available for the new person.

  1. The landlord cannot interfere with the tenant’s rights

In the case of an emergency the landlord can enter the property without notice, but other than that, a landlord cannot interfere with the possession rights of the tenant. 

  1. Habitability

The property being rented has to be in good conditions for a living or for using as a commercial place. The place has to be decent and comfortable enough for a person to live or use it without risking their health or safety.

Tenant’s responsibilities

  1. Preservation of the premises

The place has to be returned to the landlord in the same conditions it was received. In some cases, lease agreements include the duty of the tenant to perform minor repairs if necessary. 

  1. Duty to operate

This means that the rented place has to be used for the purpose that was described in the rental agreement. 

  1. Duty to pay rent

This is the one that causes most of the problems between a landlord and his or her tenants. Since the duty to pay rent is not independent of the duties of the landlord, many legal actions are taken when the tenant does not want to pay rent because he thinks that the landlord is not complying with his part of the lease agreement.

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