How To Respond When A Tenant Sues You For DamagesShare
When you own rental properties and manage them yourself, you are responsible for abiding by all landlord-tenant laws in your state. If you do not know these laws and inadvertently break one, you could face serious consequences. You can hire a landlord-tenant lawyer if you ever experience a legal problem that you are not sure how to face, including times when tenants sue you for injuries, illnesses, or damages.
Why Would a Tenant Sue a Landlord for These Things?
As a landlord, you have the legal duty to provide a safe and healthy environment to your tenants in their apartments. Your tenants could sue you if you do not. Tenants sometimes sue their landlords for the following things:
- Injuries – A tenant could sue if he or she incurred injuries from problems with the apartment building. For example, if you left stuff in the middle of the door and a tenant tripped over it, they could sue you for the injuries.
- Illnesses – If there is mold growing in an apartment and you fail to take the necessary steps to eliminate it, your tenants could sue for illnesses they develop from it.
- Damages – A tenant might also sue if you fail to complete work in the unit, which leads to damages. For example, if there is a water leak in the apartment above a tenant that causes the roof to collapse, the tenant could sue you for damages to his or her belongings.
What Affects the Outcome of the Case?
When a tenant sues you, hiring a lawyer is a necessity. The lawyer will look for ways to disprove the tenant's claims that you are at fault for the damages and give you legal advice. Several things will affect the outcome of the case. The first thing is the evidence. Does the tenant have evidence to prove the case, or do you have proof that you are not at fault? The second thing that affects the outcome is the credibility of each person. Your lawyer might aim to disprove the tenant's credibility as a way of increasing your chances of winning the lawsuit.
If you are a landlord, you need a lawyer that offers landlord-tenant law services. You might need to speak to the lawyer regularly or occasionally, but you will need legal advice at some point or another.
For additional information, reach out to a landlord-tenant lawyer in your area.