Housing Lease Agreement Violations

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It is not always easy to detect housing lease agreement violations. Without realizing it, you could engage in activities which you feel are your right, but in actuality, your conduct could result in a violation of your lease agreement. To avoid this, you must first realize that a lease agreement is a legal contract designed to protect both, the tenant and the landlord. If either party chooses to ignore any of the stipulations outlined in the contract, that particular party is in violation of the agreement. Fortunately, you can take precautions to avoid violations.

Housing Lease Violations and the Tenant

  • Read the lease papers thoroughly. As the tenant, it's your responsibility to make sure that you have a clear understanding of the terms on the contract. If something does not sound right to you, don't sign any papers until you have it clarified to your satisfaction.
  • Avoid late payments. Keep in mind that skipping monthly payments or paying late constitutes a violation of your lease, depending on how your agreement is set up. Leases are generally set up for monthly payments. Some agreements allow a grace period, normally 1 to 3 days, by which you must pay rent. This is not always the case, though. Review your contract if you have any doubts. Some leasing management companies will start eviction proceedings as soon as the grace period has lapsed. Moreover, personal circumstances generally do not count as valid reasons for not paying on time.
  • Pay a re-letting fee. Most lease contracts provide a legal way out if you need to move out prior to the end of your lease term. All you would need to do is pay a re-letting fee, often equal to a month's rent, and you can move out without violating your lease. You must pay the fee prior to vacating the property or reach an agreement with your landlord. Leaving without paying the reletting fee constitutes a violation of the housing lease agreement and could result in legal issues.
  • Submit a 30-day notice to vacate. Even if you plan to move out at the end of your lease term, most contracts generally require that you submit in writing a 30-day notice of your intention to vacate. Check your lease document for the specific details. Failure to submit a vacating notice could cost you the security deposit.
  • Avoid any illegal activity. Conducting any illegal activities, such as drugs, gambling and any type of criminal activity, on a rental property normally violates a lease agreement.


Landlords and Housing Lease Violations 

  • Provide safe housing and utilities. State law generally requires that rental properties are safe to live in and equipped with the basic utilities. Landlords who neglect to make needed repairs and keep a rental property in safe living conditions are in violation of the agreement. Whether the repair or repairs result from a natural disaster or from normal wear and tear does not matter. A landlord must respond to written requests for repairs in a timely manner.
  • Cannot evict a tenant without court order. Even when a landlord has valid reasons to evict a tenant, the tenant has the legal right to appear in court prior to eviction. Otherwise, the landlord will be in violation of the lease.
  • Fulfill any written guarantees. If you, as the landlord, guarantee in writing any services or amenities, you must live up to your part of the agreement.

    Overall, avoiding housing lease violations is not complicated. Simply familiarize yourself with what's expected of you based on the contract you signed. If you need to move out early, submit a written notice-to-vacate and pay a re-letting fee. If you're unable to pay the fee, strive to reach an agreement with your landlord prior to the move-out date. On the other hand, if you're the landlord, make sure you respond to any written requests for repairs. Provide the basic utilities and live up to any written guarantees so that you're not found guilty of any housing lease violations.

    **Note: Refer to your State's Landlord Tenant Relations Act, as renter's rights are generally state regulated.

Copyright © 2011 Ana Jackson. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part constitutes plagiarism, is illegal and strictly prohibited.



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