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Civility is key in landlord-tenant disputes

Real estate disputes can come in all shapes and sizes -- not literally, but you get the point. Sometimes a real estate deal may be agreed to, only for one of the sides to abruptly pull out of the deal. In other scenarios, leasing or land zoning conflicts could make a real estate deal a living nightmare.

There is one type of real estate dispute that almost everyone has a little experience with: the landlord-tenant dispute. Landlords and tenants are seemingly like cats and dogs, or water and oil. In many scenarios, the parties involved end up in some sort of dispute (may it be over rent, or the building's condition, or some other problem) and the result is legal action by one of (or both of) the sides.

While the following story did not occur here in Annapolis, it is a great example for how not to handle a landlord-tenant dispute if you are the landlord. Apparently a tenant was at his place to try to get his belongings (for what, we don't know) when the landlord allegedly "attacked" him. The landlord's son then entered the fracas wielding a knife, which was waved in a threatening manner. The son was arrested -- but not after he got in his car and apparently struck the tenant with his vehicle.

It goes without saying: this is not the way to handle a landlord-tenant dispute.

Any landlord who wants to take action against a tenant; or any tenant who wants to file a grievance or lawsuit against a landlord; it behooves them to seek experienced legal counsel (with an emphasis in real estate) to ensure they go about the process the right way.

Source: Contra Costa Times, "Hercules: Landlord's son arrested after dispute with tenant," Rick Hurd, Nov. 5, 2013

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