3 Proven Methods of Resolving Landlord Tenant Disputes

Do you need help with landlord tenant disputes? Then let us show you the proper methods of landlord and tenant dispute resolution today.

1. Mediation - Get a Neutral Third Party to Play Peace Maker

How to resolve landlord tenant disputes: If negotiating with the other party by yourself doesn't work, then the first step is to invite a highly trained third party to do so for you.

Mediation is basically legal speak for assisted negotiation with the help of a neutral party (i.e. the mediator). Many local housing authorities do provide mediators who are well-versed in the landlord tenant law and the art of negotiation.

Mediation is a voluntary action so both parties have to agree to it. Unlike your typical court case where one party wins and others loses, mediation tries to reach a middle ground which is beneficial or at least acceptable to both parties. It is non-binding so you won't be forced to accept the outcome unless you agree.

We highly recommend that you consider mediation as your first course of action for landlord tenant dispute resolution - It's by far the quickest and cheapest way to handle it.

There are no landlord tenant lawyers involved in a mediation - Just the landlord and tenant. Since some mediators are trained volunteers or paid by the government, you may not even have to fork out a single cent.

2. Arbitration - Obtain Legal Judgment Without Going to Court

Many people have no idea that you can resolve landlord tenant disputes legally without going to court. Yes you can, and it's called arbitration. Just like mediation above, arbitration requires mutual consent - If other party refuse to budge, you cannot haul him or her to arbitration. However, that's where the similarities end.

During an arbitration, both parties will present their case and evidence before a neutral third party called the arbitrator. The arbitrator's job is to listen to both sides of the story and then make a legal judgment which often involves awarding damages or compensation to one party.

Arbitration is more formal and legally binding and the arbitrator's decision is final - Both parties will have to accept the judgment and cannot appeal against it.

What makes arbitration a good choice? We can sum the reasons in 3 words - Cost, Convenience and Flexibility. Arbitration is definitely cheaper because you just have to pay the arbitrator and avoid any court and landlord tenant attorney fees. And as long the other party is agreeable, you have the freedom to choose the arbitrator, arbitration date and place.

3. Small Claims Court - Quicker, Easier and Cheaper Lawsuits

Depending on where you live, the small claims court also goes by the name of county court or magistrate's court. Compared to the high court drama you often see on television, small claims court is a stripped down version that is designed for faster and easier legal action.

As you can guess from the name, there is a cap on the maximum amount of damages awarded in these courts.

Most small claims courts in the U.S. can award up to $5,000 in damages which is sufficient to resolve most landlord and tenant disputes. Click here to see the maximum amount for your state. The small claim courts limit for the U.K. is £10,000 (£3,000 for Scotland and Northern Ireland) and you can claim up to $25,000 (CAD) in Canada.

The good news is that filing a lawsuit in small claims court is affordable - You can expect to pay less than $100. It's also quicker - You can usually have your court hearing within 1 to 2 months. In some courts, hiring landlord tenant lawyers is disallowed and you will have to represent yourself (which is a good way to cut down on your costs).

Small claims court is generally recommended if you need help with landlord tenant issues involving more than $500 and have written records and relevant evidence to back your case. It's perfect for evicting tenants who owe you rent (where the owed amount is less than the claimable limit) especially if they refuse to negotiate or arbitrate.

Landlord Tenant Law