When Should Landlords Hire An Attorney?

Most landlords who don't work for large property management companies cannot afford in-house counsel or attorneys on retainer. To save money, many landlords rely on lawyers as seldom as possible. So when should landlords hire an attorney? The situations described below are a good guideline.

Representation In Evictions And Actions Against Tenants

Some evictions and holdover proceedings are fairly straightforward. When the evidence is on your side and/or the tenant isn't fighting the eviction, you probably don't need an attorney's help.

However, you should consult with an attorney if:

  • The tenant decides to hire a lawyer and fight eviction.
  • The unit is rent controlled and subject to special eviction rules.
  • The tenant being evicted is involved in a bankruptcy proceeding.
  • You are unsure about certain procedures, forms or other required protocols.

Defense In Compliance Or Discrimination Litigation

It is important to hire an attorney when facing claims of discrimination or investigations by regulatory agencies. Our firm is ready to represent you in all matters involving:

  • Lawsuits alleging illegal discrimination by current, former or prospective tenants
  • Other alleged violations of fair housing laws
  • Investigations by the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Investigations by inspectors for alleged building code violations
  • Investigations by local agencies or the New York Attorney General's Office

Keeping or obtaining detailed records is often your best defense in cases like these. Our firm will help you get ahead of allegations to limit your liability and any bad press you may receive as a result.

Defense Against Premises Liability And Property Damage Claims

Even if you take great care to address safety concerns and keep your grounds clean, people may nonetheless get hurt on your property (either tenants or visitors). If you're being sued for a slip-and-fall accident, electric shock, injuries related to falling objects or other premises liability claims, you need to consult with an attorney to assess your level of liability and defend you in a lawsuit.

Similarly, a tenant or former tenant may sue you for damage to their personal property by claiming that it was caused by your failure to maintain the rental property. A leaking roof, backed-up pipes and similar repair jobs must be completed quickly to avoid further damage to your own building and to tenants' property. Your property and liability insurance policies may cover most complaints, but for larger claims, it is wise to speak with a lawyer.

Get Experienced Legal Representation And Advice. Contact Us Today.

The Law Office of Seth Rosenfeld, Esq., is based in Forest Hills and serves clients throughout Queens. We offer experienced landlord representation as well as legal advice related to landlord-tenant disputes. To discuss your legal needs in a free initial consultation, send us an email or call 800-699-1594.