Archive for the ‘Landlord and Tenant Law’ Category

» Landlord and Tenant Law On Thursday, April 2nd, 2009


This article is presented to provide you with the basic information that you will need to understand landlord and tenant law. While this article is not intended to provide you with all of the information that you will need in regard to landlord and tenant law, it does provide you with the essential overview that you will need to have a decent appreciation of this area of the law.


As the home mortgage market in the United States has collapsed an ever increasing number of people –from all walks of life – have taken to renting their residences. Therefore, landlord and tenant law is now impacting more and more people on a daily basis. Indeed, this is a trend that is expected to carry forth apace into the future.


Most states in the U.S.A. have adopted what is known as the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. This legislations sets forth the rights and obligations of both landlords and tenants. Perhaps the most important provisions that are included in this legal scheme are those associated with the eviction process.


The Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act establishes the specific procedures that a landlord must follow in order to evict a tenant from the premises for one of two reasons: non-payment of rent or other violations of the lease agreement.


Pursuant to these legal provisions, a landlord must serve upon a tenant a proper notice advising the tenant that he or she has a specific period of time to pay the rent that is past due or to cure the alleged violation of the lease terms. In most states, the period of time that a tenant will have to pay the past due rent is 72 hours or 3 days. Similarly, the tenant will have the same or similar period of time to remedy any lease violation as well. In the alternative, the tenant needs to vacate or move from the property during this time period. If the tenant fails to make payment within this time period, or fails to remedy the lease violation, the landlord will then be entitled to repossession of the premises, of the property.


In many instances in order to get the tenant out of the property, a landlord will have to file an eviction action in the local court. Pursuant to the provisions of the law, the landlord must demonstrate that the tenant has failed to pay rent or that the tenant has violated another term of the lease. The landlord must demonstrate that proper notice to correct the problem was given to the tenant. If the landlord demonstrates these two issues, he or she will be granted an order giving the landlord possession of the property.


The tenant will be given a specific period of time (which varies from state to state … and even from court to court) to vacate the property. If the tenant does not leave the premises in this court ordered time period, the sheriff will remove the tenant from the property.

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» Landlord and Tenant Law: Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent On Friday, December 26th, 2008

The most common type of legal action that arises out of a landlord and tenant relationship is a lawsuit filed to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent. In order for a landlord to be able to prevail in this type of action, certain specific steps must be taken.

The first step in the eviction process is the preparation and service on the tenant of what commonly is called a “Three Day Notice.” The Three Day Notice advises the tenant that because the rent is unpaid the landlord intends to exercise his or her rights to regain possession of the property in question. The notice itself gives the tenant three days to pay the rent that is due and owing together with any appropriate and applicable late fees and other charges.

As an aside, while this notice commonly is referred to as a Three Day Notice the statutory provisions in some states actually require a tenant to be given precisely 72 hours from the date such a notice is served in order to bring the rent current and to clear up any other related, appropriate charges being assessed by the landlord.

The running of the time for payment established in the notice commences running from the point that the notice itself is served on the tenant. The notice can be served either in person or by posting at a conspicuous location at the rental property itself.

If the tenant does make payment within the 72 hour or three day time period, the tenancy continues. If the tenant does not make payment pursuant to the terms of the notice, the landlord then is in a position to file an eviction action.

The statutes and regulation in different states do vary to some degree when it comes to eviction actions. In some states, an eviction action moves at a very fast pace. In other states, an eviction case is not on as quite of an accelerated schedule but will still move forward fairly rapidly.

Generally, an initial hearing will be held at which time the tenant can request a trial. The trial itself normally will occur in fairly short speed. At the trial, the landlord will present evidence supporting the nonpayment of rent issue. The tenant will present any defense that he or she might have. In reality, in a nonpayment of rent case, the only real defense in most states is that the tenant did, in fact, pay the rent. Most states do not permit a tenant to withhold rent even if there are problems associated with the premises. (There are other remedies available to a tenant in such situations.)

If the landlord does prevail and demonstrates that the tenant has failed to pay the rent due and owing and that no legal reason existed for the nonpayment, the court will issue what is known as a writ or restitution or writ of assistance (or something to that effect). This writ (or order of the court) directs the tenant to vacate the premises. If the tenant does not vacate the premises promptly the writ further directs the sheriff of the county in which the property is located to remove the tenant from the premises.

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