Owning a rental property is a great investment. However, it is not unusual for a landlord to get into a dispute with their tenant. A tenant may feel the landlord is too bossy or strict, while the landlord may discover that the tenant is anything but what they hoped they would be.
Multiple factors can contribute to disputes between landlords and their tenants. These can range from violations of the terms of the lease contract to the use of the rental property for unintended purposes.
Here are some of the common landlord-tenant disputes that you need to look out for.
Rent payment issues
Rent non-payment or delay is by far the most common trigger of landlord-tenant disagreements. Rent-related disputes can be caused by several factors, such as:
- When the tenant falls behind on rent or does not pay at all
- When the tenant starts sending bad checks or lying about rent payment
- When the landlord fails to follow through with routine repairs and maintenance resulting in the tenant withholding rent
Tip: To help address the issue of rent payment, the landlord can clarify when the rent should be due and what is considered late payment in the lease contract. The tenant, on the other hand, has the duty to report any repair issues or potential emergency situations that may hinder them from paying rent on time.
Legally, the tenant has the right to a habitable premise. This means that the landlord is obligated to keep the rental unit clean and habitable, along with timely repair of defective conditions and complying with health and safety codes for rental facilities.
Habitability issues can become an item of conflict if the landlord believes their rental unit is habitable while the tenant feels otherwise. It is important that both parties are aware of the HUD guide on premise habitability.
Every landlord dreams of a trouble-free tenant who pays their rent on time and lives at peace with their neighbors. Every tenant, on the other hand, hopes for an understanding landlord who honors their end of the bargain and keeps the premise in a habitable condition. Understanding the common causes of landlord-tenant disputes can help both parties get into a contractual agreement that works for everyone.