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Common causes of landlord-tenant disputes

Rental arrangements can be convenient and practical for both landlords and tenants. A well-crafted rental agreement sets clear expectations for renters to follow.

However, even with specific rules and regulations set forth in rental agreements, conflicts often arise between property owners and those who rent from them. Understanding the causes of landlord-tenant disputes can help to maintain a peaceful rental relationship.

Rent payment issues

The most frequent source of disputes is rent-related problems. Tenants may delay or fail to pay rent on time, causing financial strain for landlords. Conversely, landlords might increase rent abruptly, catching tenants off guard. Clear communication about rent expectations and due dates is important to avoid disputes.

Security deposits

When a tenant moves out, the landlord may withhold a security deposit. This covers potential property damage, unpaid rent or cleaning costs. Security deposits are a frequent source of disagreement. Tenants should document and communicate the property’s starting condition before moving in.

Maintenance and repairs

The average landlord receives six repair calls a year from tenants, but 11% of them leave the issues unresolved. Sometimes tenants cause damage to the property, leading to conflicts over repair costs. Prompt communication and proper documentation are important for resolving such disputes.

Lease agreement misunderstandings

Misunderstandings about the lease agreement can lead to conflicts. This includes disputes over the terms, responsibilities and activities at the rental property. To ensure they are on the same page, both parties should review and discuss the lease agreement before signing.

Privacy and access rights

Landlords occasionally need access to the property for inspections, repairs or showings. Tenants may see this as a privacy violation. Establishing clear policies and respecting each other’s rights can mitigate these disputes.

Nuisance complaints

Noise and nuisance complaints can strain relationships between landlords and tenants. Lease terms should address noise and nuisance issues. Both parties should communicate and reach agreements about expectations before complaints surface.

Unapproved pets

Disputes about pets can arise when tenants fail to gain initial approval for animals. Clear communication about the pet policy and potential exceptions can prevent these conflicts.

Early lease termination

When tenants wish to end their lease early, or landlords need to evict tenants, disputes may occur. Adhering to the lease and state and local laws is essential for a smooth transition.

Landlord-tenant disputes are often rooted in misunderstandings, miscommunication and differing expectations. Establishing open lines of communication and clear agreements from the start can help resolve most issues.