Is legal action necessary for landlords dealing with tenants that have cause property damage, neglected to leave when evicted or failed to pay rent? I recently saw a thread on a popular online real estate forum discussing this topic and the subjectivity of the situation's possible outcomes, with dozens of users chiming in to share their ideas and thoughts on the subject. How can you tell when real estate litigation is necessary?
Basic real estate education courses almost never cover this topic, yet it is encountered in the real world at an extremely high rate. It's an incredibly common problem for most investors, and one that, sadly, can end horrendously for the renter involved if they're not informed and don't understand the effects of their actions. How can you tell what to do in a situation like this? Here's something to consider.
Will legal action stop the problematic behavior?
Whether a renter is allowing the property to fall into disrepair, coming up with the rent late, damaging property as they leave, or sneaking on their way without paying their last month's dues, real estate investors can either tap upfront money received or take a renter to small claims court. However, since the legal course is a long, rambling one with a heavy toll, it may be better not to in the long run. It can negatively affect the investor's other efforts and well as their stress levels. In addition, having an embittered tenant stirring up trouble at a local news station with stories of a certain shady landlord is the last thing you want. Bad reviews and bad press can go farther than you'd think in discouraging potential renters.
With this issue, it's important to remember that your reputation is at stake. Taking legal action can sometimes improve the situation, but you'd better make sure it will before heading down that road. Sometimes it's just not worth it to flood the court system with more unnecessary litigation and create more problems in addition to those you're already attempting to handle. You should understand the full ramifications of your decision before you make it, carefully consider the above information.
For additional assistance or more information, get in touch with one of the experienced business and real estate attorneys at The Law Office of Retz & Aldover LLP.