- 1) Look at the lease agreement when rental disputes occur
- 2) Know your rights
- 3) Solve rental disputes personally and face-to-face
- 4) Keep calm when talking to your tenant or landlord
- 5) Hire a mediator to assist with rental disputes
- 6) Seek help from the Rental Housing Tribunal
Rental disputes are common occurrences between landlords and tenants. Sometimes it’s a once-off disagreement; other times it can happen more frequently.
Solving rental disputes are by no means easy. This is because landlords and tenants both have individual sets of expectations of each other. Unfortunately, these rental disputes can quickly escalate into something unpleasant, resulting in a strained landlord-tenant relationship.
This is something landlords and tenants need to avoid especially if they signed a long-standing lease agreement. Here are 5 things that you can do the next time you are involved in a rental disagreement.
1) Look at the lease agreement when rental disputes occur
Landlords and tenants should be well-versed in the legalities of their lease agreements but as time goes by, it is easy to forget all the terminology. For this reason, the rental contract becomes an important tool during a rental dispute.
It should stipulate exactly what is expected from each party and what the landlord and tenant’s responsibilities are. Reading through the document again can help refresh your memory and it could guide you towards the right direction. Perhaps you realize that you were in the wrong and you can easily solve the dispute without taking it further.
2) Know your rights
As part of understanding the lease agreement, landlords and tenants should also make an effort to know what their rights are. It is easier to resolve rental disputes if you know what you can or cannot do.
If a tenant defaults on a payment, for example, the landlord has the right to have a court order issued so that the debt can be recovered. However, landlords may not enter the rental unit to seize possessions to cover the said debt. This invasion of privacy will put them on the wrong side of the law.
3) Solve rental disputes personally and face-to-face
In a world where communication is instant and constant, it is often better to swap emails or WhatsApp messages for good old face-to-face communication.
Having a conversation with your landlord or tenant will eliminate any room for misinterpretation. Body language, tone, and intent cannot always be communicated effectively via digital channels.
A conversation in a neutral setting will give both parties the chance to voice their opinion and speak about the rental dispute in question.
4) Keep calm when talking to your tenant or landlord
Unfortunately, face-to-face conversations aren’t always easy because emotions can flare up, especially if you don’t agree with the other person. This is why you must keep your cool at all times. If the other party loses their temper and you do as well, you are adding fuel to the fire.
Remaining calm in this type of situation will allow you to make rational decisions and respond with logic instead of emotion. Your calming presence might also let the other person calm down as well.
An antagonistic environment is not conducive to solving a problem and it will make it difficult to solve rental disputes.
5) Hire a mediator to assist with rental disputes
If you have already tried the above steps and still can’t seem to solve the rental dispute, then a mediator might be a good solution. Professional mediators are trained in conflict resolution and they remain neutral at all times.
There are many property mediators that have experience in assisting in rental disputes and who can help you find a middle ground. It is also easier to hire a mediator who can help cast a fresh perspective especially if the rental dispute has been going on for a while.
6) Seek help from the Rental Housing Tribunal
If all else fails, you can submit your rental dispute to the Rental Housing Tribunal (RHT). The RHT offers legal assistance without you having to pay for a lawyer. In this way, your rental dispute is heard and dealt with at no cost to the landlord or the tenant.
The RHT assist in a wide range of rental disputes such as non-payments, not refunding deposits, invasion of privacy and unlawful seizure of goods, lack of maintenance, illegal evictions, and illegal disconnection of services.
Rental disputes can consume a lot of time and be emotionally draining for the landlord and the tenant. It can also put a lot of strain on the landlord-tenant relationship. These few tips can help empower you to sort out your rental dispute and ensure a stress-free relationship with the other party.