As a landlord, you have certain rights. Your tenant is responsible to follow laws and regulation of tenancy. For instance, your tenant should make rental payments on time, abide by agreed terms in rental agreement, and keep your property in a decent condition. However, when these rights are violated and your tenant is not willing to cooperate, you may consider filing a claim against them as a last resort. The common circumstances when such lawsuits arise are when renters’ harm or destroy your property such as holes in walls, damaging the carpeting, and destruction of furniture, fixture or fittings.
A landlord can typically use a security deposit provided by renter to recoup costs that are incurred to fix damages. However, if a deposit is insufficient to cover these damages, a landlord may contact a competent real estate lawyer to file a claim against a tenant to obtain additional compensation.
Types of damages that qualify for reimbursement
Typically, damages may include cleaning costs, repairs, replacements, and unpaid rent. These damages can be extremely costly and may exceed the amount of security deposit, therefore, a landlord may have no other choice than to pursue a legal action against the tenant.
However, costs incurred during general maintenance such as water heater or air conditioner replacement, roof repair, and general upkeep of a property do not qualify for a claim as landlord is responsible for these expenditures.
There are certain processes and protocols that must be followed by a landlord to seek compensation from a tenant. Initially, a survey of the housing unit must be conducted to assess damage. Photographic evidence may be collected to present as evidence in court. In some cases, a formal police report may also be required. Furthermore, an eviction notice has to be served to a tenant in order to remove them from the premises.
Aforementioned process may take a considerable amount of time and during this period, there can be further damages that can happen to a property, which can make things more complicated and complex. Therefore, it can be highly beneficial for you to hire an experienced and skillful landlord/tenant lawyer to ensure compliance of legal processes. Moreover, your attorney can also help you with collection of evidence, which is highly critical for a successful claim.
The court will evaluate facts of submitted case, circumstances of both parties, and evidence provided by your lawyer to take a decision and to estimate the amount of compensation. Your tenant agreement will also be taken into consideration to check whether the tenant has violated any agreement which may give rise to additional compensation.
For further information on how to seek damages from your tenant or to schedule a free consultation, contact Casement Law Group, P.C. today at (847) 888-9300 to speak with a veteran real estate lawyer on this issue.