Working With Landlords Involved in Litigation with Tenants
Owning rental property in Connecticut—whether a few multi-family apartments or hundreds of units in large community developments—can be an excellent investment. Unfortunately, it can also be exceptionally frustrating, especially when your tenants violate the terms of their leases. As a landlord, ensuring that your tenants abide by the terms of their leases is critical to protecting your properties and getting returns on your investments. Sometimes you must resort to litigation to effectively protect and enforce your legal rights.
The rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants are well-defined under Connecticut law, and many legal options are often available to landlords who are trying to enforce the terms of their leases. For this reason, if you are having problems with a commercial or residential tenant, please discuss your situation with an experienced Connecticut landlord attorney as soon as possible.
Representing Landlords in Many Types of Litigation
Many types of litigation can arise in relationships between landlords and tenants. We regularly work with landlords who have legal disputes with tenants. The following are just a few of the many issues we’ve helped to resolve.
Eviction and Lease Enforcement Litigation
Your residential or commercial lease is the legal agreement that memorializes your and your tenants’ legal rights and responsibilities. It exists to protect all of the parties’ interests. Tenants who violate the lease can have a detrimental impact on your investments and the condition of your properties. Our lawyers will thoroughly review the terms of your leases, determine whether your tenants are in violation of the leases, and take appropriate action. In some cases, that may involve direct communication with the tenants to cure the lease violations, while in others, it may require initiating eviction proceedings in the appropriate court.
Nonpayment of Rent
Payment of rent is the most fundamental responsibility a tenant has to a landlord. It is the quid pro quo that allows the tenant to occupy the property. When a tenant fails to pay rent, a landlord can proceed in many ways. Often, landlords would rather have their tenants pay the rent and remain current rather than proceed with evictions. Attorneys can often help make that happen. Sometimes, a simple letter on law firm letterhead is enough to induce delinquent tenants to pay rent, solving the problems without needing to resort to judicial intervention.
Sometimes, however, a tenant simply refuses to pay, leaving a landlord with few options other than eviction. Importantly, a landlord does not have the immediate right to enter into the property and start moving the tenant’s things out just because a tenant has not paid rent– you must still go through the procedure set forth by Connecticut law. As a result, if you must evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent, retain a Connecticut landlord lawyer who is familiar with the relevant state laws.
Many leases contain provisions that restrict the ways in which tenants may use leased properties. This can range from clauses that prohibit residential tenants from keeping pets to those that restrict the types of business in which commercial tenants can engage. When tenants violate these provisions, they can hurt the value of the properties and may even completely deprive landlords of the economic use of the properties. As a result, landlords must do everything they can to enforce the provisions of their leases.
As in cases where non-payment of rent is at issue, not every lease violation requires that a landlord take a case to court to rectify the situation. In some cases, tenants may not even be aware of the violations and are happy to correct them once the matters are brought to their attention. In others, however, tenants may deny the existence of the violations or simply refuse to take corrective actions, leaving landlords with few options other than eviction. An eviction based on a lease violation is subject to certain complex procedural rules, however, so a landlord needs to consult with an attorney before pursuing eviction against a tenant in violation of a lease.
Some tenants engage in nuisance conduct that can result in complaints, legal issues, and difficulty renting out other units in multi-unit buildings. Examples include:
- Loud parties
- Offensive odors
- Leaving trash in inappropriate areas
- Loud or aggressive pets
In certain situations, a landlord can evict tenants for nuisance conduct, and an attorney can help determine whether eviction is an appropriate or desirable resolution in your circumstance.
Serious Lease Violations
Some lease violations are so serious that they warrant immediate legal action. Landlords should never tolerate domestic violence, criminal activity that puts others at risk of harm, or severe hoarding. If you believe your tenant is engaging in these or other serious lease violations, immediately call an attorney.
As hard as you may try, as a landlord, it is next to impossible to avoid problem tenants. These tenants may provide multiple grounds for legal action against them. The representation and counsel of an attorney can help you deal with problem tenants and can also pursue legal remedies against them if necessary.
Speak to a Landlord Litigation Attorney Today
If you have a tenant who you believe is in violation of a lease, call a Connecticut landlord attorney as soon as you can to ensure that your legal rights are protected. At the Landlord Law Firm, we are committed to helping landlords protect their properties and their investments, and we use every legal means necessary to ensure compliance with the terms of every lease. While we are fully prepared to take every case to court if necessary, we also aggressively pursue settlements with tenants to save everyone involved the costs associated with taking cases to trial.
To learn more about landlord-tenant law in Connecticut, please access our easy-to-search catalog of hundreds of articles of interest to landlords and property managers.