How to avoid disputes with the Landlord.
As a tenant, you can do a few things to avoid disputes with your landlord. First of all, start with the lease agreement. Ensure that you understand every clause of the agreement. Pay specific attention to the security deposit, rent payment and termination clause. If you feel the agreement is too rigid or too biased in favor of the landlord, you can request the landlord to modify the agreement.
Get everything in writing. Any thing that you and the landlord agree about the terms of the lease should be recorded in writing. If you move in and subsequently exchange any correspondence with the landlord, make sure that you retain a record of the correspondence.
Maintain a cordial relation with your landlord. Your landlord is a human being after all. Humans make mistakes. If you have any problem with the landlord, try to sort it out through a friendly chat than a screaming contest.
How to settle the disputes with the Landlord out of court.
Try and avoid litigation as much as possible. Litigation can be time consuming and costly. It is best to try and sort out the disputes out of court. If you have dispute, try to talk to the landlord and then reach a compromise. If you can settle the dispute out of court amicably, then you can continue to live on the property. If you take the matter to court and you prevail, you can continue to live on the property but you may have to deal with a landlord who does not want you there. If you cannot negotiate with your landlord directly, use the services of a mediator who will mediate between the two of you and assist you reach a compromise. Use litigation as the last resort.
How to fight a legal battle against your Landlord.
If you are unable to resolve the dispute out of court, then litigation may be your only option. Most landlord tenant disputes are filed in the small claims court. Each state has a small claims court that provides a simple, quick, inexpensive, and informal procedure for resolving cases that involve relatively small amounts of money. In some states, small claims court is called conciliation court, justice court, or the small claims division or docket of the municipal or district court. The court fee for litigation in the small claims court is very low and in some states like California, attorneys cannot represent the clients in a small claims court. However these courts hear cases where the claim is very less. Each state has laws limiting the jurisdiction of these courts to small amounts. If your claim exceeds this amount, you will have to file in the appropriate court.
—Every state has its own particular laws regarding landlord and tenants. To know more about landlord and tenant laws in your particular, you may contact The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).