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What should you do to address a landlord-tenant dispute?

Your living situation is an incredibly important part of your life, obviously. Everyone expects a peaceful, warming and welcoming home to live in. So when a landlord fails to live up to his or her standards thus putting the tenants at risk, it is no wonder that the people living in the building get upset and assert their rights.

In many cases, this is how a landlord-tenant dispute begins. The landlord doesn't fix the water heater; or he or she fails to address the clearly dangerous situation in the lobby; or the landlord tries to evict you in an unlawful and illegal fashion. Sadly, not every landlord is perfect, nor is there a system that ensures that every landlord is a good, honest person.

The practical application of this lessons is that you, as a tenant, need to be aware of your rights when you are involved in a landlord-tenant dispute. Make sure you know your lease and that you are aware of what your landlord is responsible for. Start detailing events and communication with your landlord so that you have a paper trail to prove how you have approached the dispute and why the landlord's actions were inadequate or problematic.

Ultimately, if the dispute reaches a serious point and you want to pursue legal action (or your landlord does), then it behooves you to have a lawyer on your side to ensure that your case is being handled properly and to make sure you are aware of -- and fully utilizing -- your rights as a tenant.

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