Basic Tips for Landlords and Tenants

A large number of legal issues arise from disputes  between landlords and tenants.  These disputes are common in both commercial and residential tenancies. By following a few basic tips, both landlords and tenants can seek to minimize potential problems.

Get it in writing!

A verbal lease is generally enforceable. However, a written lease helps clarify the rights and responsibilities of the parties involved. Clearly stated terms in a written lease provide an understanding of what each party is obligated to do.

Understand what you’re getting into.

Even with a written lease, parties sometimes fail to look over the document, to fully understand their obligations. What are the overall costs? Who’s responsible for maintenance? How does the lease terminate? Be sure to read the lease before signing. Focus on any terms that are most important to you. If entering into a new lease, negotiate with the other party to minimize or remove any unfavorable provisions.


Many problems can be headed off before becoming full-blown legal disputes. Communicate with the other party when an issue comes up. Search for a solution that allows both sides to agree.

Seek legal help if needed.

If any significant questions or problems arise with the rental arrangement, seek advice from an attorney.

Contact WFJ if you have any concerns regarding your rental situation.

Attorney Andrew W.R. Nielsen