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Legal Questions from Landlords

The landlord/tenant relationship can get complicated. At Fiffik Law Group, we regularly advise both commercial and residential property owners on how to navigate this relationship. Here is a sampling of legal questions we’ve been asked by actual landlords in the last few months:

Abandoned Tenant Belongings

The landlord believed that her tenant had abandoned the property and took an air conditioning unit that belonged to her in the process. When the landlord went to check, she saw that the tenant’s belongings were still in the property, so she did not enter.

Legal Question: What are her obligations regarding abandonment and what to do with the Tenant’s belongings?

Tenant Backed out of Lease

The landlord's prospective tenant signed a lease, paid half of the deposit, but subsequently backed out of the lease.

Legal Question: Can the landlord keep the deposit? Are their any other options to remedy the situation?

Repairing Mold

The landlord’s tenants notified him of an issue with the gutters on his property. The leak from the gutter had caused water to start draining into basement and there was mold present.

Legal Question: What are the landlord's obligations to repair the mold?

Evicting a Commercial Tenant

A commercial tenant owed the landlord $41,218.91 in back due rent and for the destruction of personal property.

Legal Question: How should the landlord go about evicting this commercial tenant?

Leases for Specific Situations

A landlord needed to prepare a lease addendum for a specific situation with short-term renters.

Legal Question: Can Fiffik Law Group review the lease addendum or prepare a new one more tailored to his specific situation?

Selling Occupied Property

The landlord was selling their property that a tenant still occupied.

Legal Question: When does the landlord have to notify tenants? And does he have to to convey the tenant’s security deposit to the property buyer?

Cleaning Fee Security Deposit Deduction

The landlord’s tenants were required, by the terms of the lease, to clean floors and cabinets, patch any holes in the wall, etc., and must professionally clean carpet and provide receipt upon moving out of the property. When the tenant moved out, none of these tasks were completed. The landlord and spouse spent five hours per day over a three-day period cleaning the apartment to get it ready for next tenant.

Legal Question: How much should the landlord deduct from the tenant's security deposit so that it is equal to the labor put in to cleaning?

Protecting One Tenant From Another

The landlord was faced with a terrible situation where a violent incident between two tenants had left one of them injured and in the hospital. The injured tenant had changed the locks shortly before the incident, and the other tenant, who was out on bail, had asked the landlord to grant him entry. The Landlord did not have a key for the new locks.

Legal Question: What are the landlord's options on responding to the perpetrator’s request and evicting the perpetrator?

Different Types of Eviction Notices

The landlord's tenants owed $8,041.08 in back due rent.

Legal Question: What type and timing of notice of eviction is appropriate?

Tenant Re-Appears After Abandonment

A commercial tenant failed to pay rent to their landlord for over a year, stopped doing business, and then apparently abandoned the property. Sometime later, the landlord started to do repairs to the property, and the tenant came back wanting to reopen his business. The tenant then sued the landlord to gain re-entry to the leased premises.

Legal Question: What are the landlord's rights?

Already Spent Security Deposit

The landlord contacted us seeking advice after his tenant passed away. The landlord's tenant’s niece and executor of their estate was demanding that the security deposit be returned. The Landlord had spent the deposit repairing damages and removing items that had been left in the property.

Legal Question: What are the landlord's rights to retain the security deposit? And how else could he be affected by this estate administration process?

Evicting a Violent Tenant

The landlord posted a 10-day eviction notice on a tenant who had a violent history and was in arrears over $4,000.

Legal Question: How should the landlord initiate court proceedings with the lower court?

Security Deposit after Death of Tenant

The landlord had a verbal month-to-month agreement with tenant who had never failed to pay rent. When the landlord was notified that the tenant had passed away, the landlord was left with the tenant’s security deposit.

Legal Question: To whom should the landlord return the security deposit since the tenant's heirs decided to not open an estate?

Eviction After Numerous Issues

The landlord’s lease provided that their tenant was to pay at minimum $75 a month toward water, sewer, and trash fees. If the total of those bills were in excess of $75, the tenant was required to pay the excess as well. When the tenant purchased and installed a washing machine, the bills increased, but the tenant did not pay for the difference. Additionally, the tenant reported a roof leak after a storm, and the landlord responded by immediately sending out a contractor to fix it. After the contractor informed the landlord that the issue was fixed, the landlord informed tenant that she would be coming to the property to inspect the roof, but the tenant refused entry.

Legal Question: Due to the many issues, what all should the landlord include in her notice to evict this tenant?


Are you a landlord or tenant with legal questions? Give the experienced real estate attorneys at Fiffik Law Group a call. We're here to answer your questions and help you navigate your unique situation.


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