There are many potential reasons why a tenant may want to file a lawsuit against their landlord. These reasons might include breach of contract, failure to make necessary repairs, illegal eviction, discrimination, or harassment.
HERE ARE SOME COMMON TYPES OF LAWSUITS THAT TENANTS MAY BRING AGAINST LANDLORDS:
BREACH OF CONTRACT
A tenant may file a lawsuit against a landlord if the landlord has failed to uphold their contractual obligations, such as not providing a habitable living environment or not following the terms of the lease agreement.
FAILURE TO MAKE REPAIRS
If a landlord fails to make necessary repairs to a rental property, a tenant may be able to file a lawsuit for breach of the implied warranty of habitability, which requires landlords to maintain safe and livable conditions.
A tenant may be able to file a lawsuit against a landlord for an illegal eviction, such as when the landlord tries to evict the tenant without following proper legal procedures.
We are also seeing more and more mold liability cases. Landlords can be held liable for mold in rental properties under certain circumstances. In general, landlords have a legal duty to maintain safe and habitable living conditions for their tenants, which includes addressing mold issues that may arise. If a tenant reports mold in their rental unit, the landlord should take prompt action to investigate and remediate the problem. If the landlord fails to do so, and the mold causes property damage or health problems for the tenant, the landlord may be held liable for the damages.
Landlords cannot discriminate against tenants on the basis of protected characteristics, such as race, gender, or religion. If a tenant believes they have been discriminated against, they may be able to file a lawsuit.
If a landlord engages in harassment, such as repeatedly entering a tenant’s apartment without permission, the tenant may be able to file a lawsuit.
LIMITING YOUR LIABILITY
Due to all the potential for liability when owning rental income property, it’s critically important to set up a proper legal structure for your property.
A limited liability company (LLC) can be a great option for owning rental property because it provides personal liability protection for the owners (members) of the LLC. This means that if something goes wrong with the property or a tenant sues, the members of the LLC will not be personally liable beyond the amount of their investment in the company.
Additionally, LLCs provide flexibility in terms of taxation. They can be taxed as a pass-through entity, which means that the profits and losses of the LLC flow through to the members’ personal tax returns, avoiding double taxation. Alternatively, an LLC can elect to be taxed as a corporation if that is more advantageous for the members.
To set up an LLC for rental property, you will need to file articles of organization with your state’s Secretary of State office and pay the associated fees. You will also need to create an operating agreement that outlines the rules and procedures for running the LLC, including how profits and losses will be allocated among the members.
It’s important to consult with a lawyer and an accountant before setting up an LLC to ensure that you understand all the legal and tax implications and make sure an LLC is the right choice for your specific situation.