When Should I Sue a Landlord?

Suing a New Jersey landlordWe’ve all had a lousy landlord, but there are different degrees of bad. A landlord may continually get on your nerves by taking forever to fulfill maintenance requests. This doesn’t mean that you should bring legal charges against him. You shouldn’t, that is, unless something that should have been fixed in a timely manner ends up causing an injury. There are circumstances, however, that you do need to sue a landlord over.

What to Sue a Landlord Over

  • Injuries – A landlord can be liable for a tenant’s injury if he fails to warn the tenant about a defect he knew about. Similarly, a tenant can sue his landlord if injured by a damaged appliance that the landlord failed to fix.
  • Uninhabitable conditions – It is your landlord’s duty to keep your living spaces habitable. This includes complying with all housing, health, and safety codes. It also covers keeping systems such as electrical and heating in working order. If your landlord fails to do so, you can sue.
  • Security deposit – Your landlord is responsible for paying you back your security deposit, assuming you left the rental in good shape. If your landlord fails to pay you the deposit in a reasonable amount of time, you should sue for the amount that he wrongfully withheld.

It’s best to avoid ever having to consider suing your landlord by weighing your options carefully before signing a lease. If you have already signed the lease and you no longer trust your landlord, however, then you may need to sue to break your lease early. Before doing so, make sure to contact a qualified real estate lawyer.

Garland & Mason, LLC is a New Jersey business law firm that handles matters such as business litigation and real estate law.

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