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Balsamo & Rosenblatt: When Should You Hire Tenant Law & Landlord Attorneys?

Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, it can be hard to understand and navigate your rights, responsibilities, and liabilities. That’s where a seasoned lawyer with experience in both fields can help.

By Donovan RobertsonPublished about a year ago 4 min read
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Balsamo & Rosenblatt: When Should You Hire Tenant Law & Landlord Attorneys?
Photo by Hiroshige Fukuhara on Unsplash

Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, it can be hard to understand and navigate your rights, responsibilities, and liabilities. That’s where a seasoned lawyer with experience in both fields can help.

Balsamo & Rosenblatt represent landlords and tenants in all matters relating to the leasing of residential properties. The boutique Real Estate law firm has been representing and resolving legal issues for over 25 years. The attorneys at Balsamo, Rosenblatt & Hall have extensive experience handling commercial and residential Landlord/Tenant issues, including non-payment and holdover proceedings based on owner occupancy, secondary residence, illegal subletting, and lease breach.

Here’s how to know when it makes sense to hire a lawyer and when you don’t need one.

What is a landlord lawyer?

A landlord lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant law, specifically. While there are landlord-oriented law firms that have landlord lawyers, these firms generally only have one or two lawyers in the firm who focus exclusively on landlord-tenant law. The reason, of course, is that this area of law is fascinating, complex, and constantly changing. You’re also dealing with a client population that varies widely in their knowledge and experience.

When to hire a tenant-landlord lawyer?

In this section, we'll discuss the reasons why you might need a landlord-tenant lawyer. Some reasons are big, menacing, while others are smaller, less stressful. A legal expert who specializes in landlord-tenant laws in your area will be a great help in each of these scenarios. The following are some reasons why you may want to hire a landlord-tenant lawyer:

You Want to Evict Your Tenant

You’ve done the paperwork and now your tenant has the courage to move out. Eviction is a scary process, but it’s also a very important legal process. Unfortunately, you may be in over your head if you don’t know the law. Every state’s eviction laws are different, so it can be hard to find your state and city’s policies for eviction online. A landlord-tenant lawyer will know these laws in detail and can help you navigate them effectively. The experienced lawyers at Balsamo & Rosenblatt can help you navigate this legal minefield.

Being sued for illness, injury, or illegal discrimination

You’re a tenant, and a few months into your lease you start to feel sick. You visit the doctor, who says you have the stomach flu, and you’re out of commission for a week. The landlord doesn’t believe you, though, and sues you for $2,000 for breaking the lease. You have very little time to defend yourself, because you have other medical issues that are also causing you significant pain, and you don’t have the money to pay a lawyer. You could very well lose your home and your financial stability because you have a serious illness. In this case, it can be vital to hire the landlord-tenant lawyers from Balsamo & Rosenblatt to fight for you and ensure you don’t have to pay when a tenant makes a claim against you.

Being sued for property damage

When your landlord does not fulfill important obligations under your lease and the law, it can lead to major problems. Consider a landlord who repeatedly delays heating system repairs until well into winter, or a landlord who ignores a ground-floor tenant's request to fix a broken window until a burglary occurs. A person might try to sue you if their roof leaked and damaged their PC, jewelry cabinet, or other valuable item.

Being audited by the IRS or local government

Getting audited is another common issue that a landlord-tenant lawyer helps with. You can navigate an audit safely with the help of the right expert. The severity and reason of the audit will determine whether you want to hire a lawyer. It's up to you to determine whether this is something you should seek professional assistance with. When a potentially large tax fine is at stake, it's probably better to be safe than sorry.

How to Get a Lawyer's Help

If you’ve reached this point and you’re confused and scared, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer. There are several ways to find one:

- Ask a family member or close friend if they know a good lawyer. They may know someone.

- Look online for a lawyer. There are several online service that let you search for a lawyer.

- Ask your lawyer’s office if they have a referral service where you can make a brief phone call to ask if anyone you know can recommend a lawyer.

Summing Up

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of when it makes sense to hire a lawyer and when you don’t need one. Tenants and landlords alike will benefit from working with an experienced landlord-tenant lawyer who specializes in their specific field of law.

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