If you are a landlord, you realize that despite your best efforts, sometimes you can end up in a heated dispute with your tenant(s). When this happens, it’s easy for tempers to rise and conflicts to escalate. To make matters worse, you could find yourself embroiled in litigation—never a pleasant thing.
Here are 3 strategies you can try to resolve your landlord/tenant dispute before resorting to legal action.
1. Talk it Out—in Person
In today’s day and age, most people handle all of their communications through texting or e-mailing. While wonderful for staying in touch and providing immediate response, unfortunately, texting and e-mailing can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications.
If you are having a dispute with your tenant, try speaking to them in person—especially if the bulk of your communication has been through texts or e-mail.
Speaking to someone in person allows for far better communication than an inanimate e-mail or text. When you speak to someone face-to-face (without getting in their face) you simply can understand them better. Personal conversations allow for you to see the other person’s expressions and hear their voice inflections. These visual clues can give you a far better understanding of what the other person is really trying to say.
2. Try A Mediator
Before you resort to litigation, consider trying a mediator. Mediation is an age-old process of resolving disputes. In mediation, a neutral third party (agreed upon by both disputants) facilitates negotiation.
Unlike arbitration, the mediator does not make a decision for the parties. Instead, he or she tries to get the parties to agree on a mutually-satisfying resolution. The role of the mediator is to interpret concerns, relay information between the parties, frame issues, and define the problems.
A good mediator helps both sides take a realistic view of their position and come to a resolution themselves.
Mediation is faster, cheaper and simpler than litigation.
3. Submit the Matter to Arbitration
Arbitration is also a dispute resolution process. Unlike mediation, however, arbitration can be binding (or non-binding) and is much more trial-like.
In arbitration, both sides submit the matter (with witnesses) to the arbitrator. The arbitration is conducted much like a trial, complete with testimony and evidence, but the setting is more informal and the rules of evidence are relaxed. After the arbitration the arbitrator will issue a written decision.
Real estate disputes can be complex and difficult to resolve. But there are things you can try that could help you avoid a landlord/tenant lawsuit.
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If you find yourself embroiled in a real estate dispute, call us. We are real estate attorneys with over 30 years’ experience. We serve clients in Atlanta, and in a number of counties throughout Georgia, including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. To schedule your free phone consultation, call us at: 770-888-7707. Or you can contact us here.