Suppose you own or manage only a few rental properties, like many landlords. In that case, you are unlikely to have a lawyer on staff or even “on retainer” (where you pay a lawyer in advance to handle routine questions and issues).
Landlords are fundamentally no different than any other type of business owner — they aim to make their business profitable while steering clear of liability. However, hiring (or consulting with) eviction lawyers for landlords to help you achieve these goals is smart in certain situations. Here are some of the most common scenarios that will benefit from a professional’s review or help.
Evicting a Tenant
An eviction lawsuit takes much less time than regular civil cases in most states. But in exchange for expedited treatment, landlords must follow highly detailed rules, from notifying the tenant of the lawsuit to filing the right papers and forms. In addition, because it’s the tenant’s home at stake, many judges will set the bar very high when ruling in the landlord’s favour. As a result, winning an eviction lawsuit, even one you’d think is a slam-dunk, isn’t easy.
Being Investigated or Sued for Illegal Discrimination
You don’t need a lawyer every time a prospect or tenant accuses you of illegal discrimination. Landlords who diligently comply with fair housing laws can still get these accusations from prospects they reject or tenants they evict for legitimate business reasons. But if a prospect or tenant sues you for discrimination or a fair housing agency agrees to investigate a claim, you’ll probably want to consult an eviction lawyer for landlords.
Sued for Injury or Illness
If a tenant or guest sues you and claims she got hurt or sick because of your carelessness, you’ll almost certainly want to hire a lawyer to defend you. Personal injury cases are typically high stakes, and personal injury lawyers know their way through these cases much better than you do. Also, you may find it difficult to confront a tenant who has suffered a serious loss, even though you believe you should not be held responsible.
Any lawyer you hire will be emotionally detached from the case and experienced in effectively negotiating these situations. Fortunately, if you have liability insurance and pay your premiums, your insurer should provide you with a lawyer to defend you against personal injury claims.
The eviction process can be stressful and overwhelming. There is a lot of paperwork involved with evicting a tenant, and you have to follow ever-evolving eviction rules when evicting a tenant in any part of the state.
Professional eviction lawyers for landlords will handle evictions from start to finish, helping their clients focus on the things that matter the most. As a result, professional eviction services can save you time and money down the road. In addition, you will have peace of mind knowing a specialized team is managing the proceedings on your behalf.