How to Resolve a Dispute With Your Landlord
Disputes between landlords and tenants are not uncommon. Disagreements can arise on both sides and, if not handled carefully, can snowball into stressful and protracted legal action. As a law firm with an expert dispute resolution team, we know the value of trying to settle landlord and tenant disputes before they get out of hand. Here are some of the initial steps you can take to try and resolve rental conflicts with your landlord.
Check the terms of your lease
Some disputes could be stopped before they even start if the complainant just checked the terms of their lease. Before you speak to your landlord, it’s a good idea to ensure that you have a legitimate complaint. In some cases, you may be the one who has misinterpreted the contract and your landlord may not be at fault at all. So, make sure you’re in the right before speaking up or seek legal advice if you’re unsure.
Communicate calmly and clearly
If you have a problem regarding your rented accommodation, you need to let your landlord know as soon as possible. Phone calls, emails, Zoom calls or texts are common ways to make an initial complaint. Many problems can be sorted at this stage if approached sensibly by both parties. If digital communication isn’t effective, a face-to-face meeting in a neutral place (where possible) might be worth a try. Sometimes a discussion in person can be all you need to reach an agreement. However you deliver your message, be clear and concise about the matter in question and try to avoid using antagonistic language. Disputes over property can be emotive and ramp up quickly if either side is unable to keep a cool head. Try not to let things get personal - staying composed and polite could help you avoid the situation deteriorating into an acrimonious legal dispute.
Keep careful records
If you’re lucky, you may have been able to nip the issue in the bud with a friendly conversation or an email or two. If not, you’ll need to make sure you keep careful records of phone calls, correspondence and other contact with your landlord. Having a clear paper trail not only helps you keep track of where you are in your dispute, but could be important should the matter end up in mediation or court.
If your own attempts at reaching a resolution have failed, professional mediation is definitely worth trying as it’s a highly effective way to reach an agreement. An experienced mediator can help both parties understand all sides of the argument, consider their options and reach a resolution promptly and fairly. While mediation has a very good success rate, there may be times when it does not work. However, it’s always worth attempting before resorting to court action. Also, with the courts trying to reduce the number of cases that come before them, they may look more favourably on litigants who try alternative dispute resolution before taking further legal action.
Find a good solicitor
If possible, get advice from a solicitor or law firm with experience in dealing with landlord and tenants disputes. They know their subject inside out and will be able to look at both the issue in question and the bigger picture to help you reach the right solution for you. The law in this area can be complex and is constantly evolving - having an expert on your side could potentially save you a lot of time, stress and money in the long run.
At Rowberry Morris, we understand how upsetting and unsettling it can be to be at odds with your landlord. Our talented and dedicated dispute resolution team are here to help you sort out your differences regarding your rental agreement as swiftly and amicably as possible. We are mediation experts with a proven track record in settling a wide range of landlord and tenant disputes. If you need help, please get in touch with your nearest Rowberry Morris office for professional legal advice.
- Reading: 01189 585 611
- Richmond: 01784 457 655
- Staines: 01784 457 655
- Tadley: 01189 812 992
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.