Landlord-tenant disputes in the Greater Pittsburgh Region pose difficult challenges for both parties. Whether you are a landlord or tenant, the best way to protect your rights is to consult with an experienced real estate litigation attorney.
For generations, Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace has helped landlords and tenants resolve all types of disputes. From failure to pay rent to failure to maintain the property, we work with clients to settle disputes amicably through negotiated settlements. When necessary, however, we are prepared to take legal action. Contact our office today to learn how we can help resolve your landlord-tenant dispute.
Types of Landlord-Tenant Disputes in Western Pennsylvania
Our legal team is highly experienced in representing both sides in all types of landlord-tenant disputes, including:
- Termination and eviction
- Lease terms
- Right to withhold rent
- Health and safety standards
- Security deposit limits and returns
- Landlord access to rental property
- Tenant protection against retaliation
- Protections for tenants who are victims of domestic violence
- Fair housing rights and discrimination
Termination and Eviction
Eviction involves far more than posting a sign or telling a client to leave. Instead, it is a formal process that requires the landlord to serve notice on the tenant, who can then contest the eviction in Housing Court. If a tenant has failed to pay rent or refuses to vacate the premises after a lease has expired, our attorneys can help with the eviction process. We also defend tenants in eviction proceedings if they withhold rent because the landlord has failed to keep the property in habitable condition.
Lease Disputes/Security Deposits
A properly structured lease will clarify the relationship between the parties, however, landlord-tenant disputes typically arise over the return of security deposits when it is time for the tenant to move out. While the tenant usually expects to receive full payment of his or her security deposit, landlords have the right to retain a percentage of the security deposit to repair property damage, recover unpaid rent, or other breaches of the lease.
Right to Withhold Rent/Health & Safety Standards
While lease agreements are often tilted in favor of landlords, tenants have rights under state and federal law. In particular, if the property is not maintained in a habitable condition, a tenant may be entitled to withhold rent until the landlord makes the needed repairs.
Landlord-Tenant Dispute: Access to Rental Property
Lease agreements typically give the landlord the right to access their properties to conduct inspections, repairs, and maintenance. At the same time, tenants have a right to privacy and enjoyment of the property; a landlord must provide reasonable notice to the tenants before entering the space.
Tenant Protection Against Retaliation
Tenants are protected from landlord retaliation for exercising a legal right, such as complaining to a government agency about living conditions, taking legal action against the landlord or becoming involved in a tenant’s organization. Unlawful landlord retaliation may involve terminating or refusing to renew a tenant’s lease agreement.
Fair Housing Rights and Discrimination
State and federal law prohibits housing discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, military status, family status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Landlords are prohibited from discriminating by refusing to rent to anyone who is a member of these protected classes. At Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace, we are committed to fighting housing discrimination, as well as discrimination in the workplace and public accommodations.
What Else You Need to Know About Landlord-Tenant Disputes in Western Pennsylvania
Landlord-tenant disputes involve all types of issues governed by state and federal laws, rules, and regulations. In particular, federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have regulations related to environmental health hazards (e.g lead-based paint). On the other hand, local ordinances governing noise and nuisance may also apply. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, it takes a real estate lawyer with an in-depth knowledge of all the applicable laws to protect your rights.
Contact Our Experienced Pittsburgh Landlord-Tenant Dispute Attorneys
At Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace, our real estate practice group regularly handles all types of real estate litigation, including landlord-tenant disputes. We have a proven history of protecting the rights of landlords and tenants alike, whether through negotiation or litigation. Whether you are the plaintiff or defendant, landlord or tenant, you need the powerful representation we provide. Contact our office today for a consultation with one of our experienced real estate litigation attorneys.