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Whether you’re a seasoned landlord or a new property owner, there will likely come a time when you’re in need of free landlord legal advice to settle minor tenant issues. While there are many resources available, how do you know which ones you can trust?
How do you know where you can get free legal advice for tenant problems? Keep reading for tips and trips from our real estate and rental experts at RentPrep on how to find and effectively use the most cutting edge landlord/tenant free legal advice resources.
Table Of Contents For Free Legal Advice For Landlords
- Free Legal Advice: What To Look For
- Free Online Landlord/Tenant Legal Resources
- Other Free Landlord/Tenant Legal Resources
- Pros And Cons Of Free Legal Advice
Why pay for minor tenant/landlord legal advice when there are millions of free resources at your fingertips! When you first set out, accessing free legal advice can be overwhelming and daunting. Keep these key factors in mind when accessing free legal advice either in person or on the Internet!
- Keep in mind that rental laws and regulations vary by state. Be sure that you are viewing or talking to a legal expert who is knowledgeable about your particular state!
- Consult multiple sources. Real estate and rental law is complex. It’s smart to consult a variety of sources to ensure that you are making the smartest and most beneficial decisions for yourself and your business.
- Don’t shy away from free consultations! There are many non-profit organizations created to protect both tenant and landlord rights. The American Bar Association also offers pro-bono options and search tools. Be sure to check out your state’s resources!
- Consider online sources for straight-forward questions. There are many online databases and law resources where you can educate yourself and find the answers to direct questions without having to consult an actual lawyer. This could be a logical first step before pursuing further legal help!
But, where can you get free legal advice for tenant problems? A great place to start for free legal advice is a web site called FreeAdvice Legal: Real Estate Law, Landlord/Tenant.
This website offers sample letters and legal document forms (that you can edit!), lists of tenant rights and responsibilities, as well as answers to general questions about renters insurance, maintenance, and security deposits. Renters and/or tenants can search by state or category to access a mass of valuable information.
Another user-friendly website where you can seek free legal advice during a landlord and tenant dispute is SparkRental: Legal Help for Landlords & Property Managers. This free service has a question/answer feature that allows you to ask your specific question to a qualified lawyer. The site’s blog contains helpful articles, information, and additional resources about property management, eviction, and tenant screening.
LawHelp.org is an organization mostly focused on helping low-income families find legal resources, but they also offer information about completing legal/court forms and citizen rights, as well as lists of legal offices by state. This site offers other helpful links to pro bono web sites and advocacy organizations.
Schedule a free consultation with a local lawyer who specializes in real estate law in your state. You can use the American Bar Association website to find a free consultation in your area to get the legal process started.
Non-profit organizations, like the Housing Rights Center, offer free legal advice (in this case, for the state of California) to help settle simple landlord and tenant disagreements. Free telephone and in-person consultations help both landlord and tenants know their rights and the best steps to take based on their particular state’s law.
Other states have governmental branches that handle renter protection and landlord disputes. Free landlord and tenant legal advice in NYC is available through the government Rent Guidelines Board website. The Maryland Attorney General’s website also contains basic information about evictions, breaking leases, and lease renewals in the state of Maryland.
Avvo, an organization that was honored by the American Bar Association, offers free 15-minute phone consultations with lawyers around the country. You can browse topics or choose from lawyers by category or location in the USA. You can also see reviews and one- to five-star ratings from previous clients for each individual lawyer (and check out our Avvo review).
As with anything free, you should always be careful when seeking legal advice and consider getting multiple opinions – as well as doing your own research!
- Well – it’s free! If you have a simple problem with your tenant and wonder if it’s grounds for eviction, free legal advice through web sites and consultations could help steer you in the right direction.
- Further your professional knowledge as a landlord. Even if you are seeking legal advice on one particular issue, it’s always good practice to become an expert in your field. Knowing your own rights (and those of your tenant) can help you become a better landlord, benefit financially, and even grow your portfolio.
- Many great lawyers offer pro bono services. Just because the advice is free – it doesn’t mean it’s not from an expert! Governmental organizations as well as some of the top lawyers in the country offer free consultations, so don’t hesitate to use your resources.
- Truly free legal advice is hard to come by. Beware of websites and organizations that promise free legal advice and then charge a fee. Make sure to read the fine print and don’t give your payment information unless the terms of the exchange are clear!
- Legal jargon can be confusing. Many resources (especially on the Internet) offer information and advice in the language of lawyers. Be sure to further investigate any terms or phrases that are unfamiliar!
Whether you are looking to further educate yourself or solve a dispute, free legal advice is readily available for both landlords and tenants alike. The Internet can serve as a great starting point to find advice, pro bono lawyers, law organizations, and answers to questions – all for free! RentPrep offers further guidance for landlords looking to vet, interview, and settle disagreements with tenants.