Representing Landlords With Issues Related to Lease Violations on Residential or Commercial Property
The lease agreement your tenant signs is the primary document that establishes all of the rights and responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant. Many lease agreements address important issues that could have an impact on the value of your property, so make sure that your tenants understand and honor the terms of the agreement.
Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and many landlords throughout the state are forced to deal with tenants who violate the terms of their leases. If you have found yourself in this situation, you may not know how to proceed, and could worry about what may happen if you pursue legal action. Fortunately, there is help available.
The Landlord Law Firm is committed to providing landlords and property managers with information, advice, and representation regarding lease violations and other aspects of Connecticut landlord-tenant law. We have an easy-to-search catalog of hundreds of articles that property managers and landlords will find interesting, and our lawyers are available for consultations to discuss your specific legal issues. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (203) 874-4747.
Common Lease Violations
Commercial and residential leases are the contractual agreements that identify the non-statutory rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. They can contain many clauses and terms that limit what a tenant may or may not do with or on the property. Common examples of lease violations include:
- Nonpayment of rent – The landlord-tenant relationship is based on the idea that the landlord will allow the tenant to occupy a property in exchange for periodic rent. As a result, the most important part of a lease agreement is a description of the leased property, and the amount that the tenant will pay in rent and at what interval the tenant will pay it. When tenants fail to pay their rent, they are in violation of their leases, and landlords have the right to take legal action.
- Keeping pets – Anyone with a pet understands that dogs, cats, birds, and other domestic animals invariably cause damage to their living spaces. As a result, to protect property values, many residential landlords place clauses in their leases that prohibit tenants from keeping pets. Unfortunately, tenants sometimes violate these clauses and try to keep pets anyway.
- Restrictions on subleases – Both residential and commercial tenants may violate clauses that restrict subleases. In many cases, these situations arise when tenants try to mitigate their rent by leasing extra space to third parties. As a landlord, it is important to fully evaluate people or businesses that use your property, both to protect your property and minimize your legal liabilities.
Resolving Lease Violations Without Going to Court
It’s often possible to resolve lease violations without going to court. We regularly help our clients determine what to say to their tenants and how to say it to resolve situations before they escalate.
You may resolve issues informally and maintain your relationships with your existing tenants and save money. Generally speaking, if you suspect or know that a tenant is in violation of a lease, you simply try bringing it up in a conversation and provide an opportunity to remedy the violation. If you cannot resolve the matter this way, it is likely a good idea to discuss the matter with a lawyer. In some cases, the involvement of an attorney will result in compliance with the terms of a lease because it indicates imminent legal action.
Pursuing Evictions Based on Lease Violations
Connecticut law controls how landlords may pursue evictions based on lease violations. Generally speaking, the landlord must first provide the tenant with a default notice of some sort. If the default is not or cannot be remedied, your landlord attorney will then serve a notice to quit, which provides the tenant notice that the landlord is pursuing eviction.
Once the notice to quit has been served, the tenant may voluntarily leave the property and tender possession back to the landlord. If the period in which the tenant may leave lapses and he is still in possession of the property, the landlord may proceed with an eviction through court.
This overview is a very general description of the eviction process. Keep in mind that you must follow specific rules. For example, for notice to quit based on nonpayment of rent, tenants have no right to remedy the nonpayment and can be subject to eviction even if they pay the money owed. Tenants, however, may have 15 days to remedy other violations before you can proceed further with the legal process. You may be able to skip parts of the process in the case of a “serious nuisance.”
These are just a few examples of how complicated evictions can be, and any errors made in the eviction process can result in a problem tenant staying in a property much longer than necessary. For this reason, any landlord pursuing eviction should do so with the assistance of an attorney.
Call the Landlord Law Firm Today to Speak With a Connecticut Lease Violations Lawyer
As a landlord, lease violations can have serious impacts on the value of your properties and your financial situation. For this reason, address all lease violations as soon as you can—and in ways that maximize your chances to solve problems as efficiently as possible. The lawyers of the Landlord Law Firm will review the facts of your case and advise you as to how best to proceed. To schedule a consultation with one of our landlord lawyers, call our office today at (203) 874-4747 or send us an email through our online contact form.