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Landlord Tenant Law covers the legal rights and protections bestowed upon both landlords and tenants, and helps guide the negotiations and contracts executed between these two parties.
Austin Landlord Tenant Attorneys will represent either the tenant or landlord when a rental agreement has been allegedly breached and an agreement cannot be reached. These attorneys can usually delay or prevent an eviction, and immediately stop landlord harassment.
If you’re a landlord your Landlord Tenant Lawyer can help you construct rental agreements, evict tenants, go after unpaid rent, and ensure you’re operating under the law when you take any actions against a breaching tenant.
If you’re a tenant, a Landlord Tenant Law Firm can help you fight off landlord abuse and harassment, review rental contracts, stop evictions, and get your security deposit returned. Make sure your rights to a habitable unit are fully protected.
Protecting your rights as a tenant doesn’t always come easy. Finding an attorney who is knowledgeable about landlord tenant law and understands the system can go a long way. The LawInfo directory can help you find verified Landlord Tenant attorneys in Austin. Make sure you seek one out that understands the type of case you have so that you can work toward a favorable outcome.
In most states, there’s no law that requires landlords to pay for temporary housing if a tenant’s rental unit becomes uninhabitable, even if it’s the landlord’s fault. Landlords may include a clause in their lease either reinforcing this, or offering to cover some expenses for hotels or other required accommodations, but in very few instances are they required to. If the lease says they will cover it, they will likely be bound to that, however. The landlord usually needs to reduce tenants’ rent for the number of days they’re unable to live in their home. If the conditions were exceptionally egregious or negligent, a tenant may have the option to bring their landlord to small claims court to recuperate any charges the displacement caused. Local laws determine what counts as legally uninhabitable, but it usually includes issues like a lack of plumbing or heat, or hazardous conditions.
Each jurisdiction sets their own rules on how much notice a landlord has to give before requiring a tenant to move out. This timeline may be impacted by the reason to vacate, like if it’s an eviction or if the landlord just doesn’t want to keep renting out that space. A common notice period for a non-eviction order to vacate is 30 days before the tenant is expected to leave. In some places it may be as little as a week or as long as two months, depending on the type of lease you signed. Landlords often have the freedom to increase the amount of notice they give, but not decrease it.
Landlords generally can’t raise your rent while you’re already in a lease cycle. If you’ve signed a year-long lease, your rent can’t go up three months in. But when you go to renew, your landlord is typically allowed to change the price of rent. They must give you “proper notice” of the increase in advance, which may vary by local jurisdiction or the terms of your lease. If you’re on a month-to-month lease, the state determines how much notice your landlord must provide before an increase can go into effect.
Tenants have some protections when it comes to evictions. Most leases provide a small grace period for late rental payments, usually within a couple of days from the due date. If you go beyond that, however, landlords are usually allowed to charge a late fee, so long as that term was included in the lease. In many states, a landlord has to wait a set amount of time before they can start the eviction process, usually a couple of days to a couple weeks or so. They have to provide you with notice that if you don’t pay or move out on your own within a set amount of time, that they will begin the eviction process. If it progresses to an eviction, they have to take you to court and a judge must decide to grant the eviction. An actual eviction isn’t valid unless a judge issued it.
Rent increases are often a big concern for renters in Austin, and in many cities across the country they’re becoming more common. In most states, there’s not much of a limit to what a landlord can charge or increase rent by, though they may be required to stay within a market-price range. Landlords do have to give their tenants proper notice and include the new terms in any future leases. It will then be up to the tenant to decide if they want to renew or find a different housing situation.
An attorney can often resolve your particular legal issue faster and better than trying to do it alone. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, while avoiding costly mistakes or procedural errors. You should seek out an attorney whose practice focuses on the area of law most relevant to your issue.
Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.
A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:
Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.
Personal jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority over a person, in order to bind that person to the judgment of the court, based on minimum contacts. International Shoe Co v. Washington is a landmark Supreme Court case outlining the scope of a state court’s reach in personal jurisdiction.