150 S. Washington Street, Suite 202
Falls Church, VA 22046
Phone   (703) 534-5588
Fax   (703) 534-5585

Landlord’s Rights

It is not only the tenant who can be experiencing problems with the landlord. In some cases, it is the landlord who experiences problems from the tenant. When a tenant fails to live up to his or her responsibilities, a landlord may take legal action against that person. The landlord, too, has certain rights which must be respected. Laws and procedures dating back centuries protect a landlord's right to be paid in full for allowing tenants to reside on the property. Unpaid rent can be cause for eviction; however, some holdover tenants may require more severe action such as lockouts and seizure of personal property.

Tenants are responsible for:

  • Paying rent on time
  • Abiding by the landlord’s terms
  • Keeping the home in the condition it originally was in from the move-in date
  • Not causing a nuisance

While many tenants don’t like it, landlord legal rights include the right to enter the premises. While the landlord must respect the laws and rights of their tenant, these rights apply to the landlord as well. Landlord legal rights state that a landlord may enter at any time if there is a real emergency. Or, if they wish to enter for no particular reason at all, this is the landlord’s right- but the landlord must give proper notice to the tenant.

Depending on the state that the home is located in, this proper notice is usually anywhere between 24 and 48 hours. Some tenants are so against this that they go to extremes such as changing the locks, refusing to let the landlord inside, or by hiring a lawyer to fight the landlord, even though the landlord was within his or her landlord legal rights to enter the premises.

If a tenant is late with his or her rent and a certain amount of time has passed, landlord legal rights allow the landlord to legally evict that tenant. However, this still leaves problems for the landlord. Not only did the landlord miss out on a certain amount of rent, but it may take a while before the landlord can find someone else to live in the vacant home. This causes the landlord to lose money which he or she did not plan on losing due to the problematic tenant living there. Other times, a tenant may not leave without a fight and this is when a landlord tenant attorney is essential.

Even if a tenant is paying their rent on time, there are a number of ways that landlord legal rights may be violated. While it is the tenant’s home for the time being, it is still their responsibility to realize it legally belongs to someone else and they need to respect their landlord’s property and their rules. A tenant may constantly violate noise regulations, causing the neighbors to complain to the landlord about the annoying neighbor that is now living in the neighborhood.

Another example of a landlord legal rights violation is the fact that some landlords may not allow pets in their home, yet their tenant decides to ignore this rule. Other times, a landlord may discover that a tenant has destroyed something or many things in their home! A landlord may be able to evict a tenant that does such things, but they are still left with damage inside of their home due to the tenant’s behavior and lack of respect. And once again, they are left without a steady monthly income source for the time being, and some tenants refuse to budge and legal action is necessary.