Anyone who’s ever rented an apartment has likely dealt with an annoyingly high collection of cleaning and repair fees when they moved out. These fees can be astronomical, and they often make very little sense.
Are you in this position right now? Have you been hit with some hidden apartment fees and other rental issues?
If so, you may need to hire a real estate lawyer. Here are some tips that will help you find the best lawyer to help you with your case.
How Real Estate Lawyers Can Help Renters
There are lots of ways that a real estate lawyer can help you fight the unfair fees your landlord is charging you. Here are some specific ways they can be of service:
One of the greatest benefits of having a real estate lawyer on your side is the fact that they can go over contracts with you.
The contract for your apartment likely contains a lot of legal jargon and confusing phrasing. And, you probably got rushed through it so quickly when you were signing your lease that you didn’t get a good look at what it says.
Your lawyer can review your contract and look for any potential ways that your landlord might be violating it with the fees they’re charging you.
Negotiate on Your Behalf
A real estate lawyer can also negotiate with your landlord on your behalf.
They might not be able to get all the fees that you’ve been charged taken away, but they might be able to negotiate them down so they’re not such a drain on your bank account.
In many cases, if your landlord knows that you have a lawyer on your side, they’ll be willing to work with you to avoid any legal troubles.
Represent You in Court
In the event that you do have to go to court to dispute the fees from your landlord, your real estate lawyer will be able to represent you and help you make a strong case for yourself.
They will gather evidence that backs you up and argue on your behalf to help you get the fees dropped so you can move on with your life.
How to Choose a Real Estate Lawyer
If any of the services listed above seem like they’d be beneficial to you, you ought to consider hiring a real estate lawyer. Of course, in order to experience these benefits and win your case, you need to make sure you’re working with the best.
Listed below are some questions you ought to ask that will help you choose the right real estate lawyer for your needs:
How Long Have You Practiced?
This is one of the first questions you ought to ask. As a general rule, you’re better off working with a lawyer who has a lot of experience in the real estate arena.
It’s true that new lawyers often have lower fees, but their lack of experience won’t work in your favor in the event that you have to go to court.
In What Areas Do You Specialize?
It’s best if you can find a lawyer who also has a lot of experience working with rental issues like yours. A real estate lawyer who only works with homebuyers might not have the knowledge necessary to help you create a strong case for yourself.
Be sure to ask about their specialties and, if they don’t line up with your needs, ask if they can recommend someone who has more experience.
Have You Worked on Cases Like Mine Before?
Take things a step further and ask whether they’ve handled cases like yours in the past.
If they haven’t, you may want to look for a different lawyer. If they have, ask some more questions.
For example, find out how the case turned out. Was the client able to get their fees reduced or dropped? How long did it take for the case to be wrapped up?
What Do You Charge?
Of course, you have to factor money into the equation. Always ask any lawyer you’re considering upfront what their fees are and how they charge.
Do they require a retainer before they’ll start working on your case? How much is that retainer and when do they need it? Do they bill by the hour?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to factor in the cost of a lawyer to your budget and decide whether it’s worth it for you to hire someone to help you with your case.
How Will You Handle My Case?
If you’re interested in working with a particular lawyer and they seem to have the experience you need, ask them how they will handle your case.
What kind of approach will they take to get the issue resolved, and how long do they think it will take? What kind of obstacles do they anticipate facing along the way?
Who Will Work on My Case?
When you’re going to check out a real estate lawyer (or any lawyer, for that matter), it’s a good idea to ask them who will work on your case.
Is it them alone, or do they have paralegals or other lawyers who will also be part of the team?
If there are more people who will work on your case, ask to meet them before you make a final decision.
Go With Your Gut
Finally, remember to go with your gut.
Do you get along well with a specific lawyer? Do they seem knowledgeable and trustworthy?
At the end of the day, you have to feel good about your decision, regardless of what that lawyer looks like on paper.
Fights Those Apartment Fees Today
If you’ve been hit with some irritating apartment fees or have been dealing with other issues with your landlord, a real estate lawyer can be a big help to you. Keep these tips in mind to ensure you find the right lawyer for the job.
If you need additional help finding a real estate lawyer in your area, we can help. Check out our free directory today to learn about qualified, highly rated lawyers working near you.