Our attorneys help prevent problems from arising
It is always surprising how often a little assistance from a knowledgeable landlord/tenant attorney in the beginning of a landlord tenant relationship could prevent costly litigation later on. For example, the lease between a landlord and a tenant is crucial to a good working relationship. Often landlords avoid paying an attorney to draft a well defined lease, opting instead to use a form found on the internet. They do not realize that the rental agreement is full of crucial business details, such as how long the tenant can occupy the rental and the amount of the rent. Together with federal, state, and local landlord-tenant laws, the lease sets out all the legal rules the landlord and tenant must follow.
Problems arise when landlords include illegal clauses in the lease, such as a waiver of landlord responsibility to keep premises habitable, or when landlords fail to make legally required disclosures. Even if it’s not required that you cover a particular issue in your lease, such as how when and how you can enter rental property, one can avoid so many disputes by using a comprehensive legal lease agreement that clearly states all of the tenants responsibilities and rights.
State law regulations for landlords and tenants
Our state law regulates most rent-related issues, such as late fees and how much time (nine days in Connecticut) a tenant has to pay rent or move before a landlord can file for eviction. It dictates that a landlord is legally required to keep rental premises livable in Connecticut, under a legal doctrine called the “implied warranty of habitability.” If the landlord does not take care of important repairs, such as a broken windows or a heater, tenants in Connecticut have several options, including the right to withhold rent or to “repair and deduct.”
Most landlords and tenants are primarily concerned with state law in Connecticut (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-1 to 47a-74), but federal laws can come into play. Congress enacted laws and federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which have adopted regulations, covering discrimination and landlord responsibilities to disclose environmental health hazards, such as lead-based paint. This is why it is important that your attorney be well rounded and aware of this as well.
At Rosenberg, Whewell, & Hite, LLC, we understand your rights and will fight for them whether you are a landlord or a tenant. While the laws may be called the “Fair” Housing Laws, sometimes the only way to ensure that you get justice is to have an attorney at your side with a command of the law to speak for you.