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Landlord and Tenant Issues

I have represented commercial landlords, commercial tenants, residential landlords and residential tenants. I have also spoken at continuing legal education seminars in Virginia on landlord and tenant issues.

My experiences have taught me that a landlord’s headaches have two basic, but large, sources: (a) selecting a bad tenant, and (b) using a bad lease. I have had many landlord clients tell me that they have a “standard lease.” There is no such thing.

A landlord should have an attorney review the lease. A landlord should also ask an attorney what types of questions are permissible when interviewing a tenant. (You don’t want to get sued for asking improper questions.)

Conversely, a tenant may also find himself with a bad lease and/or a bad landlord. Again, the contents of that lease are crucial. The lease, as the contract between the landlord and the tenant, is the law of the case.

It is very important for both tenants and landlords in evictions (particularly residential evictions) to be mindful of the very heated emotions that can arise in these cases. The tenant is, obviously, facing eviction. The landlord may, himself, be under tremendous financial pressure if his rent is not being paid. You do not want to be a victim of violence. You do not want to be a perpetrator of violence. Do not turn your landlord-tenant dispute into a hospital stay. Do not turn your landlord-tenant dispute into your first felony conviction.

Call Adam D. Elfenbein at 703-243-9223 to schedule your free initial consultation, or contact me online.