Small Claims Court Tips

The end result of many tenant-landlord disputes is small claims court.  Evictions and money suits for amounts under $10,000 are both handled in small claims court, making it the place where landlord-tenant arguments end up if there aren't any other negotiation options.  Many people come in fearing the small claims process, but it doesn't have to be that way.   Continue reading

Get It In Writing

At the beginning of each tenant-landlord relationship, the landlord and tenant are in the honeymoon phase. The tenant is eager to move in from wherever they’ve been, and the landlord is happy to have the home filled with someone who will regularly be paying rent. Early on, it’s easy to work things out, and it’s hard to see how that could possibly go wrong. Here at the TRC, we see it go wrong. Tenants and landlords come to us saying that they had a spoken agreement with the other person, but now, that person isn’t doing what he/she said he/she would do. Tenants have concerns about landlords not making repairs; landlords have concerns about tenants not following a payment agreement… Everyone has concerns about roommates. Before things go sideways, it’s important to protect yourself, just in case. Like Hansel and Gretel, the best way to protect yourself in these situations is to have a trail. Only for tenants and landlords, it should be a paper trail, not stones or crumbs. Make sure to have something in writing about all the agreements that you make. And it doesn’t have to be confrontational! Here’s how: Continue reading