Today, one of the biggest drains on our monthly paycheques is that of rent. Putting a roof over our heads is of vital importance and this is reflected in the money we spend on it. However, additional costs as a result of a bad landlord or loss of money altogether on top of rent can be a big blow to money saving efforts.
It is important to understand how to save yourself money throughout the process of common landlord/tenant disputes. As learning these issues early can actually save you a lot of money throughout your experiences as a tenant.
Withholding Security Deposits:
When beginning a tenancy you will need to put down a security deposit, a sum of money which protects the landlord and property in the scenario that you leave the property in a state that needs extreme cleaning or repairs. However, in some cases the landlord in question may withhold this money after your tenancy for a long period of time or make deductions without explaining why. This can be a huge loss of money, depending on your deposit size, so should be avoided as much as possible.
Unless stipulated in your contract, legally a deposit must be paid back to a vacating tenant within thirty days of leaving the rented property (typically, though this can vary state to state). If this is not returned in the legal or contractually designated period, then contact your local tenants association who can give you a Request for Return of Security Deposit form. Send this to your landlord with a certified mail carrier. If your request is still ignored, you can use this confirmation of delivery to take your landlord to small claims court.
Depending on your location, the filing fees may only be a small portion of the deposit you are owed. So, by getting it back you will cover the cost of having to retrieve it in the small claims court.
Insufficient Property Repairs:
One of the most annoying issues to face as a tenant is that of everything breaking around you. The boiler doesn’t warm the flat, the stove only cooks food on one burner and so on until you are in a completely unliveable space. Within this scenario, it is the responsibility of your landlord to deal with these issues to a suitable standard. Yet this does not always happen and can end up costing you a lot of money.
So long as you are keeping the property to a good standard and making your landlord consistently aware of the larger issues that need fixing, you are fulfilling your responsibilities as a tenant. Repairs and other maintenance then falls to the landlord to address. Never use your own money to fix an issue that should be fixed by your landlord, as you are unlikely to ever receive compensation for doing so.
The Final Solution:
If worse comes to worse, the best way to deal with issue may be to seek the help of professional dispute resolution specialists. In fact, in some cases this should probably be the first solution as having a knowledgeable expert on your side can strengthen your side of the dispute.
(Bio: Alice Porter is an avid business writer, who has conducted her research with a conveyancing solicitors in Manchester . She aims to share her knowledge with like minded professionals.)
August 23, 2017