5 Important Things Tenants Should Be Aware Of

Despite the commonly held notion of landlords they are not bad people. They are simply normal folks, trying to make a living like the rest of us. However, there are landlords out there that use their position of power over their tenants to cheat them out of significant amounts of money and take advantage of them in any way they can.

It is people like this that give the good landlords a bad reputation, and it is people like this that every tenant needs to be vigilant of when renting a property. Below we have outlined five (5) common ways that unethical and deceitful landlords may try to take advantage of their tenants.

Only Using Verbal Communication

A landlord who wants to take advantage of his or her tenants will normally do whatever they can to keep their communications with their tenants verbal. They may make lots of promises to appease the tenant, but if nothing is put into writing, the tenant will be at a very significant disadvantage when it comes to enforcing these promises. Always try to get everything you can in writing from your landlord.  As someone once told me: “if it isn’t in writing it didn’t happen!” Use email when possible so there is a record of your conversations. And if your landlord agrees to something such as allowing you to have a pet, make sure you get it in writing.

Landlords That Are “Unreachable”

Another shady tactic used by unscrupulous landlords is to purposefully avoid contact with tenants. This gives them plausible deniability to be able to say they never received the tenants requests. They may even try to claim that they never received your rent in order to have grounds to evict you. By making themselves unreachable, they cannot be confronted over fulfilling their obligations as a landlord, and it becomes much more difficult for you to hold them accountable.

Claiming Tenant Is Responsible For Repairs

The landlord is responsible for maintaining vital aspects of the property, such as providing heat in the winter, running water, fixing the roof or structural issues, etc. A malicious landlord may try to force a tenant to pay for repairs, hoping that the tenant does not know any better. They may also try to take money for such repairs out of the tenant’s security deposit. It is vital that you, as a tenant, know your rights and understand the landlord’s obligations as well.

Unconscionable Terms In The Lease Agreement

Landlords may force you—or hoodwink you—into agreeing to illegal terms in your lease. However, the landlord cannot override certain aspects of the law simply by writing it into your rental agreement. It is never a bad idea to have a well-versed attorney in the field like Hegel Laurent review your lease before you sign it, and always be sure to read your lease so you know exactly what you are agreeing to.

Illegally Withholding Your Security Deposit

Another tactic used by some landlords to take advantage of tenants is to keep some or all of the security deposit for unspecified reasons. If the landlord keeps any of your deposit, he or she must provided you with an itemized list detailing exactly why the funds were withheld. They also must return your deposit within 15 days of the termination of your lease if they do not intend to make a claim, or notify you within 30 days if they do intend to keep any of the deposit.  The Laurent law Office has had a knack of obtaining these deposits whether in or out of court.

In most cases, tenants can overcome these machinations by knowing and understanding their rights.  A good way to do so is to contact the Laurent Law Office today and let us fight to defend your rights.

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Written by LaurentLawOffice


Laurent Law Offices, P.L. is committed to helping renters and landlords alike to achieve a fair and reasonable resolution to any dispute. Attorney Hegel Laurent has been a tenant for the vast majority of his life and he understands the intricacies of Landlord-Tenant law codified in Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes. He received his J.D. from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Law School and he is passionate about representing both those who rent property or those who own rental property.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail.Click here for full disclaimer