Landlord-Tenant Law essay



The landlord-tenantlaw refers to a section of the common law, which details the rightsand obligations of both the landlord and the tenant. The law includesaspects of real estate law (conveyances) and contract law (Hill &ampBrown, 2011). The relationship between the landlord and tenant isdefined by the presence of a leasehold estate. Bright (2006) notedthat traditionally, the landlord`s obligation in the U.S was to grantthe full tenant use of the property. In Wales and England, forexample, the Landlord was mandated to allow the tenant to possessionthe property.

Today, the landlord-tenant law includes additional values and rightsthat are held by both parties. The modern exposition of thisrelationship is hinged on the projection that a lease contains anumber of contract law elements in addition to conveyancing (Wilkie &ampCole, 2000). Therefore, the paper will explore the legalresponsibilities and rights of both the landlord and the tenant.Secondly, the paper will focus on the chances of the landlord or thetenant having a legal duty on the mitigation of damages.Additionally, the paper will determine the legal grounds to evict, alegal obligation for the tenant to pay for damages caused and thelandlord`s liability for any direct damages.

Constitutionalrights and Responsibilities of Landlord and Tenant

Tenant: When an individual pays rent for an apartment, house, mobile home, orcondominium, the rent automatically becomes a connection between thetenant and landlord, which is governed by law. The payment does nothave to be made weekly or monthly. Again, the apartment or house, forexample, does not have to be rented from a corporation, government,or a private person. These engagements are factual and accurate evenwhen there is no &quotlease&quot agreement in place. Under thelandlord-Tenant law, a tenant is guided by individual rights andprinciples. For instance, Roger (tenant) is entitled to his right toprivacy and peaceful possession of his dwelling. After renting, thetenant has a right lawfully to use the property (Wilkie &amp Cole,2000). Larry (landlord) can only enter the property when carrying outan inspection of the premises, make an agreement on repairs, butafter making prior arrangements with the tenant. However, if anemergency emerges, the provisions can be waived or shortened.

Roger, in thiscase, has a right, under particularly aggravated circumstances, towithhold the rent, as a result of the landlord`s neglect to listen tohis grievances. However, this can only be done after the landlorddoes not or fails to comply with set agreements, for example,providing habitable premises, which complies with the housing laws(Hill &amp Brown, 2011). However, before Roger withheld the rent, heis mandated to inform the landlord about his plans through a notice,so the landlord is in a better position to fix the problem. Again,the tenant can move out anytime unless there is a lease agreement. Ifthere is one, the tenant should notify the landlord beforehand.

Tenant`sresponsibilities include timely payment of rent upon agreement. Thetenant also has to comply with set regulations regarding theproperty, maintain the place without damages, and maintaincleanliness (Hill &amp Brown, 2011). Again, the tenant must keeppeace with his or her neighbors, without violating rules and causinga disturbance. The tenant should seek legal action or assistance ifthe landlord serves him or her with an eviction notice withoutwarning. The tenant should also seek legal defenses.

Landlord:In this case, Larry has a right to receive rent for the stipulatedperiod for the tenant`s use of the dwelling. He or she also has aright to have the place back without damage, especially when thetenant moves out or at the end of the lease period. The property mustbe returned without damage, except for the natural wear and tear. Thelandlord`s right to carry out inspections should be discussed duringthe signing of the agreement. Larry has the right to carry outinspections to his property, but must first give prior notice toRoger. Again, Larry is required or mandated by the law to rent adwelling that is habitable and safe. For example, the property mustbe fit and must not have a leaking roof or no security.

According to Bright (2006), the landlord must follow a set of rules,which are outlined in the landlord-tenant agreement. For instance,the landlord should not disturb tenant`s peace to make sure that theproperty is secure and safe for the tenant. It is also the landlord`sresponsibility to notify the tenant of a possible increase in rentthree months before the due date (Bright, 2006). Additionally, thelandlord is mandated not to cause harm to the tenant through his orher negligence.

Mitigationof Damages

Roger continuouslyurged his landlord to fix the leaking roof. The tenant`s call on himpersistently to even dropping him a note on the same, but thelandlord fails to respond to his calls. With every rain that dropped,the roof continued to leak. Again, the tenant never did much otherthan to move his items away from the leak with nothing much tomitigate the damage. In this case, both Larry and Roger entered intoa lease agreement, something which blocks the Roger to move out,according to the landlord-tenant law. Here, both the landlord and thetenant have a legal duty, according to Hill &amp Brown (2011), tomitigate the damages.

For instance, Roger is protected by law from breaking the lease atany given time, even when the landlord fails to guarantee himfavorable conditions. On the other hand, the landlord has to mitigatedamages caused by the tenant by finding another tenant, if he movesout without prior notice. Both parties have a legal duty to actquickly to counter any further damages. However, the tenant, in thiscase, must first move out without notice to mitigate damages in theproperty.

LegalGrounds for Eviction

Larry does nothave the legal grounds to evict Roger, especially under the evictionlaw. Larry cannot, under any circumstances, kick Roger out of hisdwelling, even if he (Roger) damages to the property. In most cases,according to Wilkie &amp Cole (2000), the landlord must acquire acourt order to carry out such evictions. Regardless of Larry`sfailure to listen to the tenant`s grievances, Larry is also protectedby the eviction law to carry out the eviction, especially when thetenant damages the property, but after obtaining a court order.

Following the damages caused, the landlord must serve his tenantprior notice, but it is statutory that he (tenant) alone can make adecision to stay or move out. Here, it will be up to Roger to adhereto the few options at his disposal, but not through forcefuleviction. For instance, Roger can act based on the evacuation detailsand move out or choose to fix the damages on the property and wait tosee if the landlord wishes to go forth with the eviction process. Allthe same, it is under no legal grounds that the landlord should evicthis tenant. Wilkie &amp Cole (2000) noted that each state is servedby different standards of tenant evictions. They are also accompaniedby numerous strict procedures, which must be adhered to before thelandlord can carry out evictions forcefully.

Tenant`sLegal Obligation and Landlord`s Responsibility

Roger has no legal obligation to pay for the damages he caused.However, Hill &amp Brown (2011) cautioned that tenants must informtheir landlords immediately if there are damages to the propertyregardless of who caused it or how it happened. Under the tenancyact, Roger is not mandated to carry out repairs for any damages hecaused. However, damage through carelessness or intentional act willrequire Larry to ask the tenant, after being informed, to fix thedamages or pay for replacement costs. And because Roger`s action wasnot intentional, he is not under any legal obligation to repair thedamages however, he failed to inform Larry about it.

On the other hand,Larry should be made liable for the damages on Roger`s furniture.Larry violated his duty to repair the roofing, and must be held toaccount because of legal negligence. Bright (2006) observed thatnegligent cases are established if the tenant can show evidence tohave informed the landlord about the issue and the landlord ignored.In this case, Larry ignored his tenant`s grievances and should beheld responsible for all the damages caused. The tenant is alsorequired to be diligent. In this case, Roger did that by moving thefurniture away from the path of water.

In conclusion, thelandlord-tenant law is about mutuality. This law thus cuts acrossboth parties and demands that the two demonstrate some level ofconscious regarding their mutual requirements and needs, includingrights and responsibilities. This paper manages to identify thelandlord and tenant`s rights and mandates, mitigation of damages, andsome of the legal grounds that warrant tenant eviction. Additionally,the paper looked at tenant`s possible legal obligations to cover fordamages caused on the property and the landlord`s obligation to payfor the damages because of legal negligence.


Bright, S. (2006).Landlord and tenant law: Past, present and future. Oxford:Hart.

Hill, D. S., &amp Brown, C. N. (2011). Landlord and tenant law ina nutshell. St. Paul, MN: Thomson/West.

Wilkie, M., &ampCole, G. (2000). Landlord and tenant law. Basingstoke:Macmillan.