Being a landlord isn’t easy. You have many responsibilities, including taking care of your properties and your tenants. And when a tenant violates your contract, it’s your responsibility to uphold your rights and protect your rental business.
While suing your tenant might seem like the next best step, it’s important to ensure your claim is legal. Take note of the legal reasons for a lawsuit below and then consider reaching out to a landlord-tenant attorney for help.
5 Legal Reasons a Landlord Can Sue Their Tenant
1. To Recover Rent Payments
Is your tenant failing to pay their rent? First, send them a notice that gives them time to make it right. If they still fail to comply, you can choose to follow the eviction process and sue them for the rent owed.
Important note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the national eviction moratorium is now extended through June 30th, 2021. This means you are currently unable to evict tenants due to unpaid rent. Stay abreast of changes to avoid unnecessary consequences.
2. Property Damage
If a tenant leaves behind serious damage that their security deposit won’t cover, you can choose to sue the tenant for the cost of repairs and/or replacements.
3. To Recover Non-Paid Utilities
Sometimes, tenants choose to move on unlawfully, leaving behind their utility bills. If this happens to you, it’s possible to sue the tenant for the costs required to settle the bills.
4. To Recover Abandoned Property Costs
If a tenant moves out and fails to take all of their property, it can cost quite a bit of money to have it removed or stored. This shouldn’t have to come out of your pocket. You can sue the tenant for the costs associated with the disposal of their left-behind property such as personal belongings and trash.
5. Wrongful Use of Property
Your lease agreement should have a statement prohibiting the wrongful use of your property. For example, this may include a no pets policy or a policy regarding illegal dealings such as drug sales. If your tenant doesn’t comply, you have the right to sue them for damages associated with the wrongful use.
Planning to File a Claim Against a Tenant? Reach Out to an Attorney.
As a landlord, there are specific requirements you must follow when filing any claim against your tenant. An attorney can help ensure you make the right moves. To learn more about your rights as a landlord, give us a call at 972-450-1418 or send us a message.
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