Stephen A. Martin, Attorney at Law
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On what grounds can a landlord sue a tenant?

Landlords have a busy schedule when they own multiple rental properties and have tenants to attend to. Because of the limited free time landlords possess, one of the last things they want to do is take a tenant to court. However, when you have an uncooperative renter, legal action may be the only option to recover any money they owe you.

Four reasons to take a tenant to court

Before suing a renter, it may be wise to exhaust other options before taking legal action. For instance, trying to communicate with the tenant can help you understand where they are coming from. They may be willing to work out a payment plan to catch up on their late rent if you approach the problem from this perspective.

You could also take a more direct approach and deliver a notice to the renter, warning them that you will take legal action if they do not pay off their debts. If neither of these options work, taking them to court might be the best option. Here are four common reasons why landlords sue their tenant:

  • Being late on rent: If the renter is behind on their rent payments and are unwilling to cooperate with you, suing them might be the only way to recover any money.
  • Vandalizing the apartment: When a renter vandalizes the apartment in any way, you can recover some of the repair costs by using their security deposit. You might need to sue the tenant to recoup any additional expenses if the damage amounted to more than the security deposit.
  • Making unauthorized changes: If the tenant makes changes to the apartment that violate the lease, you could sue them. It might be worth your time and effort to inform them of their violation and give them a chance to fix the issue.
  • Using the apartment for illegal activities: When renters utilize the property for illegal activities, they are putting themselves and other renters in danger. Suing them in this instance allows you to recoup funds due to their violations of the lease and the law.

If you are having issues with an uncooperative tenant, you may want to speak with an experienced attorney. They can assess the situation and inform you of what actions you need to take to strengthen your case.

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