Tenants Rights Legal Aid

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Reasons Why You Might Need a Lawyer to Fight for Your Rights as a Tenant

When you are grappling with any type of tenant issue, the more you know about the law, the better off you will be. However, a tenant rights attorney will provide you with the legal counsel you need for several types of situations, especially if you're about to be evicted.

You're Being Evicted

If you are being evicted, a tenant rights lawyer can increase your odds of avoiding eviction. You'll need a local lawyer who knows landlord-tenant law and has successfully fought evictions in the past. Therefore, you'll need to ask about any prior experience the tenant rights lawyer has with your type of case. A lawyer can come up with novel reasons for why you are being evicted. For example, he might argue that your eviction is retaliatory.

Established law mandates that a landlord follow specific procedures when evicting you. For example, your landlord cannot:

  • Remove personal possessions
  • Cancel utilities
  • Remove doors or windows
  • Lock you out
  • Remove the toilet

Eviction as an Act of Discrimination

One reason why your landlord may choose to evict you is as an act of discrimination. Your landlord will need to stop the illegal activities and compensate you for any losses you have suffered. Make sure to bring the act of discrimination up with your attorney.

Delayed Repairs

Many tenants have heard about how they may withhold rent if their landlord refuses to make repairs. However, there is a specific procedure you must follow to do this legally and you're better off contacting attorneys for tenants. You especially cannot use the lack of repairs as an excuse for not having paid your rent last month. You must make it clear that you will be withholding rent prior to actually doing so. You will likely need tenant right attorneys to guide you through the process.

The failure to maintain the rental property may even lead to damage to your own personal property. For example, a leak might damage your TV or other appliances. If you have suffered substantial losses due to the failure to maintain your property, speak with tenant rights legal aid about ways you may seek reimbursement for your damaged property.

Personal Injury

The condition of your apartment must be safe. Some apartments develop mold problems and tenants become ill as a result. If you become injured due to the condition of your apartment, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering and any other losses that you and your attorney may calculate.

The Cost of Hiring a Tenant Rights Lawyer

A tenant rights lawyer will typically charge $225-300 an hour and will bill a client in 15-minute increments. However, when facing eviction, a tenant rights lawyer is worth it because he will increase success rates. There are lawyers that practice pro bono services & finding free attorneys is possible. New York City passed a "right to counsel" law that helped renters with evictions and evictions went down by 27%.