Residential Lease Attorney Serving Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts
Landlords wishing to lease out residential property understand the importance of having a solid lease agreement with prospective tenants. But having a lease that is properly drafted with clear, concise terms can make a significant difference in whether the landlord’s legal rights are protected. At the same time, even the best agreements can break down over time to the point that the landlord must evict the tenant. In still other cases, the agreement could become the subject of a lawsuit, which in turn may spell protracted litigation and potentially significant damages.
Palumbo Law works with landlords on both transactional and litigation aspects of residential leases. Our experience with Rhode Island landlord-tenant law and dedication to the precise needs of our clients sets us apart from other law firms.
Drafting, Negotiating And Revising Residential Lease Agreements
The relationship between landlord and tenant will depend, to a large degree, on the terms of the agreement into which they enter. Avoiding future legal problems, therefore, starts with careful drafting, skillful negotiation, and effective revisions of the residential lease agreement.
Palumbo Law assists landlords in creating lease agreements that clearly communicate the rights and responsibilities of both parties. This means including terms that cover such matters as:
- Rental amount, payment date, and length of the rental term
- Security deposit
- Requirements to maintain the premises
- Property rules and regulations
- Required disclosures and notices
- Eviction procedures
Importantly, there are some terms that by law cannot be included in residential lease agreements. Some clauses, like those that violate anti-discrimination and housing laws, are obvious. Others may be less so. For example, a landlord has an obligation to maintain a premises in livable condition. The tenant cannot agree to waive this, no matter the language used in the residential lease agreement.
Illegal clauses are unenforceable. But if a landlord deliberately uses a rental agreement with illegal clauses, the tenant could also take legal action. This may result in the landlord being ordered to pay substantial damages and attorney’s fees.
We work with landlords to draft, negotiate, and revise residential lease agreements. We also explain which terms must be included (or excluded) from lease agreements. Finally, we answer landlord questions about the terms of these agreements so they fully understand their rights and duties.
Assisting Landlords With The Eviction Process
In the best case scenario, the relationship between landlord and tenant will be effectively managed by the residential lease agreement. However, this doesn’t always happen. If the relationship between the parties deteriorates, the landlord may need to take legal action to evict the tenant.
Evictions can happen for any number of reasons, depending on the terms of the residential lease agreement and applicable state law. For example:
- Failure to pay the rental amount as agreed
- Property damage
- Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
- Use of the residential property for illegal purposes
- Use of the residential property for commercial purposes
- Other violations of the residential lease agreement
However, a landlord cannot simply evict the tenant at any time or in any manner he or she pleases. Tenants have certain legal protections under the law, including the right to timely written notice that they are in breach of the lease agreement. Because evictions implicate the tenant’s rights, having an attorney assist with the process can prove invaluable.
Evictions can be challenging because they necessarily involve conflict between the landlord and tenant. In some cases, a resolution between the parties can be negotiated. Our law firm’s dispute resolution efforts can potentially save both parties considerable time, expense, and stress. However, if necessary, we will go to court to handle the eviction.
Other Litigation Related To Residential Lease Agreements
Evictions are not the only reason that landlords need a dedicated litigation attorney with experience handling residential leases. Legal action may be necessary to assert additional rights or protect the landlord’s interests. For instance, a landlord might need a litigation attorney to assist with:
Suits for payment of money. Evicting a tenant frees up the property for someone else, but does not necessarily compensate the landlord for past-due rent. We can help pursue the tenant for these payments and obtain enforceable court judgments.
Suits for damage to property. Another reason to evict a tenant includes damage done to the property, but here again eviction is an incomplete remedy. If you need to hold a former tenant liable for negligent or intentional property damage, we can help.
Defense against tenant claims. The tenant may assert his or her own claims against the landlord, alleging breach of the residential lease or other wrongful conduct. When faced with a lawsuit, it’s imperative to have competent legal counsel in your corner.
Contact Our Rhode Island Residential Lease Attorney
Residential leases can be complicated because the law imposes certain expectations upon landlords. If you’re a Rhode Island landlord and currently lease residential property to tenants, or you hope to in the near future, it’s critical to partner with a knowledgeable attorney. At Palumbo Law, we provide our clients with comprehensive and effective legal services to manage all issues related to residential leases. Schedule your consultation with us today.