The landlord and tenant relationship is bound to hit a few bumps in the road, but having a clear path in mind can help to eliminate surprises and minimize incidents. AriasBosinger is an experienced landlord-tenant lawyer located in Melbourne, FL with offices in the Orlando area as well. Over the years, we have observed a variety of common pitfalls that affect the landlord-tenant relationship. By applying a few small points of advice, you can reduce or eliminate conflict in this area.
One article points to security deposit disagreements as a leading cause of small claims court cases. To reduce the chance for disagreement over the return of the security deposit, be sure to thoroughly document the status of the property at the time the tenant takes possession. It is advisable for landlords to have a checklist of items that will be checked when the lease ends. The tenant should use this list to make detailed notes on the condition of each of these features. This establishes a baseline of the condition of the rental property. At move-out, this same checklist can be utilized to assess any excessive wear on the property caused by the tenant. If existing damage or wear was previously noted on the inspection sheet at move-in, a large potential source of conflict can be eliminated.
Another best practice is to have a well-written, detailed lease agreement. If you don’t have an existing document in place, seek legal advice from your Melbourne real estate attorney to make sure the lease document is thorough and will hold up legally. Be sure both parties have a signed copy of the document for their records.
Document, document, document. Whether you are on the landlord or tenant end of the relationship, be sure that you keep careful records of all transactions (such as rent payments) and document any issues that arise and their outcome.
Having clear and understandable policies and documents in place can go a long way in preventing disputes from arising. Thoroughly documenting any issues that do arise leaves a clear trail to understand what happened should mediation become necessary. If you are in need of landlord-tenant legal advice, don’t hesitate to contact the real estate and association attorneys of AriasBosinger today.