Disputes are common even between Los Angeles-based tenants and their landlords. While some of these are minor and manageable, other cases can get very serious, harassing, and damaging. But with a good tenant lawyer, Los Angeles tenant-landlord disputes that may arise will be managed at best. By hiring one, you will be able to stay on top when it comes to knowing your rights as the tenant as mandated by the law and filing your claims if these rights are breached.
The Role of a Tenant Lawyer Los Angeles
In case of a dispute between you and your landlord, a tenant lawyer will represent you and will study your lease contract thoroughly and communicate these piece by piece with you.
For instance, if you are still considering to rent a new place to move in for residential or commercial purposes and you are not sure of the lease contract your prospective landlord has proposed, you can call your lawyer to help interpret it. Your lawyer will see to it that your rights as a tenant are upheld and protected.
Most lease contracts comprise of these seven vital components:
- The Premises. The premise’s description is where the address and scope of the rented property are usually indicated. If you are renting for commercial purposes, this is one of the first things you must check.
- The Rent. In residential leases, a fixed monthly rent is usually to take effect for a year or for the duration of the contract. More often than not, where there is a renewal, that is where the landlord can implement an increase. Meanwhile, in a commercial lease, it is different. The rent is extraordinarily calculated and additional fixed fees can be charged on top. This can be for the property’s insurance, tax, or maintenance costs. In some cases, landlords may even collect extra fees for random building expenses.
By studying how your rent is calculated, your tenant lawyer might also be able to give you a forecast of a rent increase that awaits you in the future.
- Maintenance, Repairs, and Improvements. This section will make clear who will cover the expenses incurred for any repair or improvement made to the property. Since leased commercial properties are usually bigger and will entail a higher budget for the upkeep and improvement, as a tenant it would be wise to negotiate for a fixed or a ceiling value of contribution for this.
- Restrictions and Rules. In residential leases, this section usually covers what are not allowed in the rented property, e.g. pets, gambling activities, subleasing, etc. Meanwhile, in commercial leases, this can define whether the landlord allows a put-up of signage and posters for advertisements and whether the landlord will charge for it or give the privilege for free.
Also, you will want to look for a landlord that will support his tenant’s business by preventing your competitors from renting another space near you.
- Common Area Maintenance Fees. This section needs a thorough review by your tenant lawyer to ensure that you are obliged to pay only the fee that is rightfully due to you based on the proportion of the space you are renting. Since commercial landlords will not go into details about the CAM Fee calculation, this is something you will want your tenant lawyer to ask and negotiate on your behalf.
- Term and Termination. This is a vital part both for residential and commercial leases should problems arise or the business no longer does great. Whatever your goals are for your residential or commercial area, you will want to make sure that the lease serves your future goals and directions via a thorough review.
- Dispute Resolution. This section will be the basis of possible dispute resolutions between you and your landlord. It may suggest an option to bring the case to court or settle with an arbitration. In most cases, commercial leases come with arbitration provisions which indicate that any disputes must have to be resolved via a neutral arbitrator who is not affiliated with the court system. Your tenant lawyer is also ace at spotting whether the arbitrator is indeed neutral or has been otherwise pre-selected by your landlord.
So, if your landlord is unfairly trying to evict you, or is violating your privacy and is ignoring your grievances, you can rely on your tenant lawyer to establish your defense or claim. Moreover, the lawyer will help fight for your security deposit dispute or payment rental concern.
If you only want to hire a tenant lawyer to review your lease, that is fine. For a reasonable amount, you will have that sense of security knowing the contract you have signed is protective of and favorable to you as the tenant.
The Cost of Hiring a Tenant Lawyer
Most tenant lawyers in Los Angeles charge hourly but others charge a flat rate for basic services like lease contract reviews. Where you reside will also impact the lawyer’s fees. Make sure anything rate related is completely negotiated about before you commit to partnering with a certain tenant attorney.
Hiring a Tenant Lawyer in Los Angeles is a Great Decision!
Your tenant lawyer will be a lifesaver especially if the complicated terms in the commercial lease agreement are already overwhelming you. Instead of dissecting the contract on your own, it will be far wiser to entrust the job to a seasoned tenant lawyer in Los Angeles who will certainly represent you in case of a dispute. Tackling the financial and legal grounds of a lease agreement can be carried out a lot easier by the right professional.
Hiring a tenant lawyer in Los Angeles is as good as getting protected against the complex legal implications in your lease especially if the rental fee amount is huge. Verbal assurances can also be discussed and negotiations can be conducted with your lawyer’s assistance. However, with the many lawyers to choose from in Los Angeles, it pays to choose wisely. Entrust the job only to a truly reputable and seasoned tenant lawyer in your area.