West Palm Beach Landlord-Tenant Litigation Attorney
The relationships between landlords and tenants often create complex legal issues that cannot be resolved without the assistance of an attorney. The West Palm Beach landlord-tenant attorneys at Pike & Lustig, LLP represent landlords in Palm Beach, Miami and Broward counties in these intricate areas of the law.
Landlords and tenants each have a set of rights and responsibilities that arise out of the lease arrangement or rental agreement between them. Any residential or commercial lease may contain a number of express or implied warranties binding the landlord, including a warranty of habitability, quiet enjoyment and possession, or fitness for a particular purpose. Tenants for their part may be obligated to make timely rent payments, make repairs or mitigate damages to the property, provide the landlord with access to the premises, and use the property in a way which does not violate local laws or ordinances or otherwise interfere with the use and enjoyment of other tenants. Disputes surrounding the performance of these duties can give rise to breach of contract litigation, eviction proceedings, or the seeking of injunctions or other equitable remedies.
Common Landlord and Tenant Disputes
Disputes between landlords and tenants go both ways. The tenant has a right to a peaceful, safe place to live, while the landlord has a right to receive rent payments on time and see that their property and the neighbors of that property are treated with kindness and respect.
Rights to Habitability and Repairs – Landlords are responsible for fixing and keeping the condition of their property habitable. For an example, if the heating goes out in the winter, the landlord is legally bound to make repairs. Tenants may have to take legal action if their landlord refuses to keep up normal repairs. Additionally, all tenants that are renting properties built before 1978 have a right to know certain information regarding lead and lead hazards in their residence, under Section 1018 of Title X, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Tenant Violations of City Codes – One concern that can arise, and grow worse over time, is the tenant’s violation of certain city codes, such as occupancy limits, parking, and noise violations. While the tenant may be subject to paying some of these fines, the landlord can face citation as well. These violations, if they go unchecked, can lead to an eviction and loss of security deposit, which can incite even more legal trouble.
Property Damage – Landlords are responsible for renovations and fixing damage that is caused by normal use throughout the years, such as a leaking roof or a worn out carpet. Tenants, in most cases, are responsible for fixing damage that they cause. Upon renewing the lease or finding new tenants, it is not uncommon for landlords to find that their property has been damaged in either a small to large degree. Deductions from the security deposit may be sufficient to cover minor damage, such as hiring labor to paint the walls or clean the carpets. However, more serious damage will not likely be covered by the minimal security deposit, and a lawsuit may be necessary to replace the serious damage.
Tenant’s Right to Non Discrimination – This right is often violated by landlords attempting to limit the rental of their property to their discriminatory beliefs. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of dwellings based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Amendments were made in 1988 to expanded the coverage to include prohibiting discrimination based on disability and family status.
Late or No Rent Payments – Many landlords impose a late payment for tenants who fail to pay rent on time. Additionally, if a tenant fails to pay rent at all, this can lead to an eviction and loss of security deposit. If property damage is added on top of this, the landlord may need to hire an attorney to receive the money they are owed. Additionally, if a tenant refuses to leave, the laws of eviction can get a landlord into legal trouble. A landlord that accepts money from a tenant after the lease has been terminated may be forced to house the tenant for another month on a month to month basis if no eviction proceedings have been taken beforehand.
Full-Service Commercial Litigation for Florida Landlords
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our West Palm Beach landlord and tenant attorneys handle commercial and residential evictions, constructive evictions, injunctions, acceleration of rent, collections, and several other areas involving landlord and tenant disputes. We will strategize with you and find the most cost effective and efficient means of handling your matter in a timely fashion. While we have the ability to effectively represent both landlords and tenants, we streamline our practice to representing only landlords. This approach allows us to utilize our business-litigation experience to achieve timely and cost-effective resolutions for business owners. Once we have a full understanding of the dispute and the client’s needs and goals, we will zealously prosecute or defend any case. We will represent landlords from the very beginning of the dispute through trial.
West Palm Beach Landlord-Tenant Attorneys Committed to the Satisfactory Resolution of Lease Matters
If you are a landlord in dispute with a residential or commercial tenant regarding any aspect of your rental or lease agreement, contact Pike & Lustig, LLP at 561-855-7585. We serve clients throughout Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties, including the communities of West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Coral Gables, South Beach and more.