Finding a specialist lawyer for tenants
In landlord-tenant disputes, it can feel like your landlord holds all the cards. But with a specialist lawyer for tenants on your side, you’ll know all the legal options open to you when it comes to protecting your rights and living situation.
Because a tenant’s rights do exist. So do a tenant’s responsibilities. Understanding both of these sides of a lease or tenancy agreement is vital if you want to make sure you are in the right as far as the law is concerned.
Here is how a tenant lawyer will help you protect your interests and how you can go about finding the most suitable one for your specific needs:
What Is A Tenant Solicitor?
Landlord and tenant solicitors are fairly common. Most law firms will deal with both landlords and tenants, with many specialising in protecting the assets of the former. However, some are experts in defending the rights of the latter, including when:
- Filing housing disrepair claims – when a property is beneath the legally required standard of repair and a landlord won’t make it right. This kind of complaint may need to be filed with the county court.
- Defending against harassment – when a landlord makes unfair demands or places unpleasant or illegal requirements on a tenant or harasses them in another way.
- Protecting against false claims – noise and anti-social behaviour complaints are sometimes used as weapons to force tenants out of a property unjustly. Tenant solicitors are vital in these kinds of cases.
- Responding to failure to protect deposit – any deposit you pay when moving into a property is required to be kept protected. If a landlord fails to do this, or wrongly retains a deposit, it can result in legal action.
- Facilitating tenant-landlord negotiations – negotiation should be the first step when attempting to resolve any issues between yourself and your landlord. A legal professional can help to protect your interests while facilitating this.
Does A Tenant Need A Solicitor?
If legal action has begun, you have been threatened with legal action, or you suspect the only way out of your situation will involve legal action, you definitely need a specialist tenant solicitor.
That said, there are some steps that can be worth trying before you resort to lawyers. Again, solicitors fees do exist and going to court can be expensive. Before you engage a solicitor, you might want to:
1) Reach Out To Your Landlord
It is possible that your landlord is unaware of the issue or there has been some unexpected failure of communication. Also, legal action can be expensive – especially if you need to go to court.
Trying to speak calmly to your landlord about whatever issue you are having is almost always worth trying first. Many people are quite reasonable when the other party’s point of view is made clear to them in a calm and reasonable manner.
Of course, this isn’t always the case. Yet, if at all possible, simply talking it out is the most cost-effective and swiftest method of resolving landlord-tenant disputes.
2) Think About Mediation
Mediation is an accepted legal process where you and your landlord sit down with a neutral third party – a trained professional called a mediator – and try to work things out.
Again, this might not be applicable in your particular case. Perhaps your landlord lives overseas or is particularly unreasonable. But the very fact you have offered mediation can be seen as a positive during later legal action.
How To Choose Between Tenant Solicitors
There are many landlord and tenants solicitors out there. Potentially, this makes choosing between them difficult – especially if you have never needed a lawyer before. The best way to choose between them is to call a few directly.
Any tenant solicitor should be willing to speak with you personally with no fee or obligation. During this call, you should try to get a sense of:
- Whether there is a basis for a good working relationship
- How eager they are to represent you
- How open and transparent they are about their fees
- How good their communications are (did they call you back or respond to emails quickly?)
- How strong they think your case is
If you’re struggling to even know where to start, why not let us do the hard work for you?
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