“The complexity of landlord-tenant disputes often lands both parties in court litigation. However, if you are a landlord and planning to initiate any legal action against your tenant, it is important to understand a few important things.”
One of the worst worries and challenging outcomes of a real estate lease agreement or rental contract is to get involved in a court battle. And although it is never intended at all by either the landlord or the tenant at the beginning of the rental agreement, at times there arises circumstances beyond either party’s reasonable control where either person must sue the other for legitimate reasons.
While legal proceedings and matters involving litigation aren’t a pleasant experience as well, in situations where anyone among a landlord or the tenant should initiate such action, it is better to understand the gravity of legal proceedings.
This means the landlord and the tenant understand the benefits as well as risk factors involved in such situations.
In this article, we present to you the perspective of the landlord regarding what happens when you need to sue a tenant.
What happens when you need to sue a tenant? – Benefits and risks involved
Remember that suing a tenant for any legitimate reason is the legal right of every landlord. However, the outcomes of legal proceedings cannot be guaranteed in each case, and therefore it is better to understand the repercussions as well while hoping for the best.
To help you out, we here mention the benefits as well as the risks involved to answer the most asked question of “What happens when you need to sue a tenant?”.
Benefits of suing a tenant
In some situations, it becomes unavoidable for a landlord to not sue his tenant. Some benefits that a landlord may obtain from taking legal action against a tenant include the following –
1. Recover funds, damages, or other obligatory payments
Recovering funds, damages, and any other important payments which the tenant was bound to pay to the landlord can be easily done with the help of a court.
Some tenants, without a legal obligation or a court order, may remain unwilling to pay a landlord with money that they legally owe him. With a legal proceeding, a court may advise the tenant to pay in cash upfront such monetary amount or arrange for any kind of security to help the landlord recover his damages and other dues outstanding from him.
2. Recover additional damages beyond the actual amount
With the help of a legal case, a landlord can also appeal in court to recover additional damages beyond the actual amount he is owed.
For example, if a landlord suffered from any kind of loss because of the lack of funds that the tenant owed to him, it can easily be recovered through a legal request. Of course, the court will certainly evaluate and ask the landlord to justify such a claim for seeking additional damages but there still lies a possibility to win such claims as well.
3. Winning a legal case displays your innocence
Remember that when a court rules a decision in your favor, there doesn’t remain any doubt as to your honesty and integrity. Without any difficulty, it is simply established that you as a landlord were in the right position and were being wronged by the tenant.
A court decision is conclusive evidence of your innocence in a legal battle.
4. Everything is on record
Like above, a landlord’s winning of a legal case and every piece of information that was used during the legal proceedings becomes a permanent record.
Not only does this help a landlord in situations where he is further sued by the tenant in the future, but it also shows how much a landlord cares for and values following the law and knowing his proper legal rights and duties.
5. Out of court settlement
Probably the first and the best outcome for a landlord to initiate legal proceedings is to get an out-of-court settlement offer from the tenant.
Remember that pursuing a legal case could easily turn simple situations into more complex issues, the outcome of which can rarely be predicted.
Therefore, a tenant, especially the one that is aware of infringing a landlord’s legal right to demand any lawful payment, will most likely avoid going to the court and making everything public.
Hence, a legal case could also be used to compel a tenant for an out-of-court settlement.
Risks involved in suing a tenant
Besides the above, there are certain risks as well for a landlord planning to sue his tenant. These are –
- As highlighted earlier, the outcome of legal proceedings can rarely be guaranteed. This means that a landlord and a tenant share an equal probability of either winning or losing a legal battle.
- While the landlord takes legal action to recover his damages or other lawful payments from the tenant, the litigation itself may cost each side a great deal of money. Court fees and legal charges vary in each case and will continue incurring until the final verdict is announced by the court or the parties mutually agree to pursue the case any further with the involvement of the court.
- Suing a tenant does not always mean that a landlord has an upper hand. In some cases, the tenant too can initiate a countersuit against the landlord, making things more complicated than they originally were.
- It is also possible that despite winning a case, the landlord may not still receive or be able to recover the amounts that the tenants owe him. This could be because the tenant filed for bankruptcy or for any other reason.
Having real estate investments to generate rental income seems like a lucrative business opportunity. However, disputes and conflicts between landlords and tenants are some of the most discouraging reasons why many landlords exercise extra care and skepticism when lending out their property on rent.
If you are worried about any such situation, our expert property managers can help you out. Attorneys Real Property Management offers services and legal consultancy in various matters related to real estate property management.
Our team of property management consultants covers a wide scope of areas in real estate management services and can offer relevant help to suit your precise needs.
Book your free consultation session now at this link or simply give us a call at (800) 481-4049.