You might have seen several videos online of people setting up glitter booby traps to scare away package thieves or of people who set up traps in their home to scare burglars away. While these booby traps depicted in the videos are harmless, the danger lies in the wrong impressions they give their viewers. Viewers may be wrongfully justified and emboldened to follow suit. All it really takes is for one person to take things to the extreme and someone could get hurt.
A Few Common Misconceptions
Many people might have the idea that when someone trespasses into their home, they gain the right to do anything to the intruder. While it’s true that a property owner has a right to protect himself and his property, it must be done with reasonable force. There is no need to endanger the life of another unnecessarily, even when it’s meant as a measure to protect property.
The distinction should be made that for deadly force to be necessary, there must be a real and imminent threat to one’s safety and property. This scenario cannot be applicable in a booby-trap related case because the property owner is not in any imminent danger during an attempted theft. Surely it’s unreasonable to main or kill someone for trying to steal your curved TV while you’re at work.
The Inherent Danger
According to Fort Wort Injury Attorneys, booby traps are illegal not just because of the danger they pose to would-be burglars and trespassers, but they are also a real danger to innocent people. It could harm a mailman who merely meant to deliver your mail, or a child who strayed onto your property, or even a lost person who simply tried to enter the wrong house. The danger that booby traps pose to the general public is simply too high, especially since it’s impossible for a booby trap to discriminate between persons that trigger it.
In the real case of Katko v. Briney, 183 N.W.2d 657 (Iowa 1971), the defendant, the Brineys, set-up a shotgun booby trap in their unoccupied home in response to several thefts and burglaries in which their family heirlooms as well as several antiques were stolen. The claimant triggered the shot, which resulted in severe injuries to his leg. Katko was brought to the hospital by his accomplice and was arrested after his life-threatening injuries were treated.
The claimant served time, but the injuries he sustained remained long beyond this, which was the reason for suit. The court ruled that the use of deadly force against intruders in an unoccupied property was not reasonable or justified. While a landowner has rights to defend his property against intruders, he may not set traps against them as the law has always valued human safety above mere property rights.
The ruling would have been different had Briney been on the property at the time of the burglary because this would have placed his life in danger. And even when property owners are on their property, they may only use force when their life or that of others on their property is in danger. Some states, like Texas, justify the use of deadly force if the property owner reasonably believes that his life is in danger.
The use of booby traps are not justifiable for the reasons stated above. If you are harmed because of a booby trap, you might want to get in contact with lawyers to help you receive compensation for your injuries.
If you are in the market to purchase or rent a home or a commercial property, you should be aware that it involves many complexities. This is the reason, why even though it is feasible to transact property deals by yourself; it can help to have an experienced real estate lawyer by your side.
Some of the more important reasons for you to hire a real estate lawyer include
Reviewing Properties for Accurate Valuation and Other Issues
Unarguably the valuation of the property is the single-most-important factor in the purchase decision. It is very common for sellers to quote very optimistic values of their properties or hide inadequacies that undermine its value. A real estate lawyer will be able to carefully analyze the contours of the deal to establish whether it is in your best interests to proceed or whether it requires substantial renegotiation to align with its real value.
When buying a property, it is important to establish that the seller has a clear title to the asset and can legally sell it otherwise. Your lawyer will not only be able to conduct a title search for the property but also establish if there are liens or other encumbrances like loans or judgments that need to be settled before the title can change hands. You can find some affordable attorneys who deal with liens by asking your friends and relatives or by looking up local directories online.
Reviewing Documents and Drafting the Contract
During the purchase process, there will be several documents involved, each of which will require verification of authenticity to prevent disputed arising in the future. According to https://money.cnn.com, you should insist that your lawyer review the agreement and make sure that the purchase is contingent on you being able to secure the mortgage, a home inspection that has no material impact on the value of the property, and an assurance of being able to carry out a walk-through inspection a day before closing.
Drafting and Incorporating Amendments to the Agreement
In case of any new information such as home inspection reports or damage to the property occurring before the conclusion of the purchase, the agreement will have to be suitably modified. These amendments are carefully executed by the lawyer ensuring that the original agreement is left intact.
Recording and Filing the Deed
For a real estate purchase to be completed, the deed needs to be filed and recorded with the state authorities. The real estate lawyer will ensure that the due processes are followed and that the deed is officially recorded to make the purchaser the legal owner of the property.
The purchase of real estate is usually fraught with many hazards and even if the seller has no dishonest intentions, there are plenty of complexities that have to be taken care of to ensure that there are no disputes about ownership rights in the future. An experienced real estate lawyer will be able to guide you properly during the transaction process so that your interests are best represented and you can enjoy the property in perpetuity.
Real estate is an important sector of the economy and for your wallet when you are buying or selling a house, business, or land. When selling property, when you spend money on it for resale or on advertising the home, it will pay off and bring in more buyers, and this in turn drives the price up.
Not sure how to proceed with getting your property in order? A Long Island estate planning lawyer plays an important role in helping people get all the instructions in place for the way a property will be handled when the time comes.
Who knows, you may not be mentally adept at managing your property in the years ahead and then these lawyers help with the financing, with living trusts, last will and testament, health care proxy, power of attorney, and other aspects of real estate such as estate taxes.
When you start looking for a real estate lawyer in Long Island, there will be a few things to check out before hiring the services of a law firm. It is so important to do thorough research on your law firm in Long Island because:
- The laws regarding estate taxes are always undergoing change and most states have their own estate tax. You need estate planning lawyers who are 100% current with estate tax planning etc so that they are able to draw up a plan that is the best for your future goals.
- Certainly, credentials play a huge part, you want to be sure that they have been practicing for a number of years and that they work on cases similar to your real estate issues.
- You also want to know how their fees are structured – is their first consultation free?
- Do they have offices conveniently located near you? The best estate lawyers in Long Island will specialize in all aspects of estate planning and their first consultation will be free as they look to plan a future for you where you understand precisely how your property and assets will pass to your heirs. Heaven forbid you you have to haul across the entire countryside to reach the lawyer’s offices only to find your estate plan has been deemed invalid by the court. That is the thanks you get for making unresearched Long Island lawyer choices.
You have put all your energies into your home and property and the rewards have been worth it. Now you want your estate planning lawyer to work for you and prepare they way forward to ensure that till your dying breath and beyond your property will work for you and the ones you leave it for.
There are many fields of law, but there is a specific one that people rarely think of: real estate law. It’s something that’s far more integral and important to people in Canada, but is usually forgotten about. So, what is real estate law and when do people need a real estate lawyer?
First, a real estate lawyer is not a real estate agent. Real estate law is a term used to describe the field of law that covers the buying, selling, and using of land. It can get more complex than that, however. The issue of real estate law isn’t just limited to the ground itself, but everything on it.
Property law includes the structures on the land and how they are and can be used. Real estate covers deeds, estate planning, taxes, and even zoning. So, now that it’s becoming clear now that people need a real estate lawyer more often than they thought, here are the times when a property owner has to give one a call:
Property Titles – This is probably the most common time that people will need to hire a real estate lawyer. When a person sells a property to another person, they have to transfer the title to that other person to complete the sale. This is a complex process that requires a professional hand to ensure that there are no loopholes in the agreement and that everything is done according to proper procedure.
Doing this without a real estate lawyer could result in the transfer of title being done incorrectly. When this happens, the results could mean legal court proceedings and it could even mean that the transfer of title didn’t happen at all, meaning that your house is not legally your home!
Creating a Deed – In some cases, people aren’t buying a new home or business, but are instead building a new one. When the purchase of a property includes the completion of structures on that property, people need to have a deed drawn to show proof that they do, indeed, own the property and the structure, or structures, that have been constructed on it.
This is a delicate bit of work to do and can’t be done by just anyone. In other words, there has to be more on a deed then “I own this land.”! That’s where real estate lawyers come in. They are the experts who draw up a deed to sign, which will then be transferred to new owners as time passes.
Zoning – Zoning law is usually something that involves business owners more often than homeowners, but both can be affected. Most population centres have three different zones: residential, industrial, and commercial.
Commercial zones involve real estate for private homes, whereas commercial zoning is for businesses, and industrial is for warehouses and factories. It is when these zones are abused or someone is seeking to have an area rezoned that real estate lawyers are called in to argue their case.
Taxes – Seemingly the bane of everyone’s existence, property, like many other things, is subject to tax. In most cases, people grudgingly pay their property taxes every year, but for those who believe that what they’re being charged is unfair, it’s time to call in a real estate lawyer to resolve the issue.
Believe it or not, this is something that occurs more often than people think, especially for those who own commercial properties that are suddenly reassessed as being much more valuable than they were previously.
Leases and Tenants – Part of owning a property can also involve renting it out and renting it out means having tenants. When an owner needs to lease a property, be it commercial or residential, they need to draft a lease agreement for their new tenants to sign.
Creating an agreement without the help of a real estate lawyer can result in a court nullifying all or part of the document should a tenant challenge it. This can result in a mind-numbing number of problems for those who lease and rent out properties, so real estate lawyers are very important to have on hand for this area of the law.
Homeowner Associations – Ever wonder how those homeowner associations manage to get all of that power to decide who can do what with their lawns? Well, that’s because they have real estate lawyers who draw up an association agreement that people endorse.
Don’t want to sign on the dotted line? That’s also when people moving into an area with a homeowner association also call a lawyer to challenge any restrictions that are being imposed on them.
All in all, real estate law doesn’t affect a few people, it actually affects everyone at one or another time in their lives, whether they’re buying a new property, renting one, or are even building a house!
Landlords have varying requirements when choosing new tenants. However, there are some restrictions. When deciding to accept a tenant, landlords often use things like criminal history, credit rating, and financial status.
It’s legal for a landlord to ask for things like proof of income. However, race, gender, and disability cannot be criteria for accepting a new tenant. It’s also illegal for a landlord to refuse to rent to a prospective tenant if they do not provide this information.
Here, we will breakdown everything you need to know about fair housing laws for apartments.
What are the Fair Housing Laws for Apartments?
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) protects tenants against discrimination. Under the Act, a landlord cannot make their decision based on race, religion, gender, familial status, disability, or ethnicity.
The FHA prohibits landlords from the following:
- Make housing unavailable
- Setting specific rules or privileges for individual tenants
- Refuse to rent
- Deny that housing is available for inspection
- Give a person different housing services
- Advertising that implies that the apartment is for certain people
- Evict a tenant
- Harass a tenant
- Limit privileges or use of facilities
- Assign someone a particular part of dwelling or building
- Delay performance of repairs
Also, landlords must make accommodations for those with disabilities. Proper accommodations include giving lower-level apartment units to people in wheelchairs or installing accessible ramps or doorways.
A caveat to this will be if the landlord has an older building. If accommodations would require a total renovation to the building, it is not necessary to accommodate the tenant.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Fair Housing Act doesn’t apply to apartment buildings with four units or less.
What Happens Is There is a Fair Housing Violation?
If a tenant believes there was a violation of a Fair Housing Act, they will file a complaint with the Department of Housing Development, or HUD.
Someone from HUD will investigate the complaint and access, whether it violates the Fair Housing Act. If there is a violation, a representative from HUD or the tenant’s private lawyer will contact you.
If you don’t have a lawyer already, it’s recommended you get one before the hearing. Consulting with someone with experience defending discrimination claims is a wise suggestion. An Estate Planning Lawyer would be ideal in this situation.
If you are found guilty of violating the Fair Housing Act, the penalties can vary. Some penalties include:
- A $16,000 fine for first-time violators and $37,500 fine if the Fair Housing Act was violated in the past
- A fine up to $100,000 if the Justice Department is involved
- Punitive damages may be awarded to the tenant — if evidence of malicious intent of the landlord
Avoiding an FHA Violation is Simple
As a landlord, it’s crucial to be aware of the fair housing laws for apartments and the penalties for violating them. If you need help staying clear of Fair Housing Act violations, it’s wise to seek advice from a professional.
For more legal advice for landlords, subscribe to our newsletter.
Wondering what are some laws regarding real estate? Also referred to as property law, real estate law is the aspect of law that deals with the buying, using and selling of land. The law governs how clients buy properties and what they can use the property for. It is called real estate law because it deals with real properties such as lands and buildings, as opposed to personal properties. This law has several aspects including titles, deeds, zoning, purchase financing, taxes and estate planning.
Laws Regarding Real Estate
The concept of this law includes various legal disciplines. First, real estate may be commercial or residential. It can be acquired and owned by a single person but used by another through rental agreements. Land can be bought and sold to individuals or to professional companies. Because of its high value, there are several laws to ensure the transactions are done properly and keenly recorded. Additionally, Stephen at Why Buy Houses says that through buying homes and real estate planning, land can be passed between different members of a family or owned by more than one person. Lastly, local and state governments have rules governing what lands may be used for.
Real Estate and State Law
Law practitioners who practice real estate law must be familiar with the state law that is applicable to their case. Such laws primarily apply to real estate. Although laws such as the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act is a federal law that applies to real estate universally, most laws regarding real estate comes from state laws. Such laws can vary from state to state; attorneys must therefore know how to identify the law specific to their case.
What is a Deed?
This is a document that gives an individual legal right to a property. Almost all states have laws governing the creation, execution and recording of a deed. A deed must be carefully drafted with a concise explanation of the property and the type of ownership involved in the property. In some cases, a deed comes with a promise that the person acquiring the property has a valid title. Such a deed is known as warranty deed. Other times, the owner is only interested in releasing any interest that a deed might contain. Such deed is called a quitclaim deed. It is important to pick the right deed for any property you acquire. As a real estate attorney, you must know how to advise clients on the right transaction to consider.
Real Estate Taxes
All real estate owners are subject to pay tax. The amount of tax levied by the government can be legally issued to the real estate owner. A real estate attorney can help clients on tax exemption through tax appeal boards and other legal proceedings. Tax on real estate can vary as well, depending on when you purchase and how long until you purchase. If you’re planning on buying a house in a year, reach out to a someone who knows what the tax situation will be then.
Leasing and Tenancy
Not every occupant of a property owns that property. Leasing and tenancy are important in real estate law. The terms of a lease are important to both the owner of the property and the tenant, whether the tenant is commercial or residential. Real estate lawyers assist clients draft and negotiate lease agreements.
The Bottom Line
Above are some laws regarding real estate. Keep in mind that this article gives only an overview of real estate. Real estate has a plethora of definitions and processes that agents are legally required to know and understand.
Sales of existing homes in the US have been trending upwards since 2008 when they hit a low of 4.12 million. In 2018 there were 5.34 existing home sales. That means more work for real estate attorneys.
What exactly does a real estate attorney do? Read on to learn when you would actually need to enlist their services?
A Common Misconception About a Real Estate Attorney
If you think you only need a lawyer if something goes wrong, think again. It’s a misconception that you only engage a lawyer to get you out of trouble.
A real estate attorney is not only for when things go wrong. They help you ensure that you don’t get into trouble before it happens.
Sometimes, navigating through the complex legal world that surrounds real estate needs professional knowledge and skills. It may not be a legal requirement to use an attorney but it’s often wise to engage one anyway. They can help you to avoid pitfalls and future difficulties.
1. Buying Your Home
Before you start the process of buying real estate, engage a real estate attorney. Whether the real estate is for investment purposes or for your home, engaging an attorney means they can help you with the purchase decision. A fundamental issue they can help resolve is to identify that the seller has the right to sell the property.
Some of the terminologies in real estate documents are obscure and complex. A real estate lawyer is trained to understand these documents and advise you if there are implications that you should be concerned about. They can explain legal terms in everyday language and warn you about risks.
2. Selling Your Home
If you are selling your home a real estate attorney can help by protecting your interests. There may be tax implications, fees or other costs that a real estate lawyer can help minimize.
If you are selling real estate you will want to ensure that once you have sold it the matter is over. You will want no further liability in connection with the property. A lawyer providing this service can help minimize the likelihood of lawsuits against you after the sale.
3. Buying or Selling Investment Property
You may be experienced at buying and selling investment real estate but an attorney can still be helpful. A real estate attorney can help check the technicalities of deeds and titles. They can also interpret and evaluate the terms of contracts.
Because they are engaged to act on your behalf they look after your best long-term interests.
4. Managing Real Estate Risk
When you buy an insurance policy you pay the money in the hope that you don’t need to make a claim. If you don’t make a claim against the policy you have at least had the peace of mind that if something had gone wrong you would have had some protection.
A real estate lawyer helps you manage the risk of something going wrong. For a modest fee, you can rest easy and have confidence that you have reduced the risk of something going wrong with your real estate transactions.
5. Difficult Partner
If you are selling a property because of a relationship breakdown, you may find you have difficulty with a partner who is not cooperating. A real estate lawyer can help. They can ensure that everything is done legally and reduce any potential for future disputes.
Whenever you are selling or buying real estate talk to a real estate attorney. They will have your best interest at heart. Engage them early in the process to give them the best chance to help you.
Search our blog for more tips on all things legal.
Becoming a landlord can be exciting, but it also breeds opportunities for problems with tenants.
Anytime someone rents out a property, they are opening themselves up to the possibility of future issues.
How can you tell when you might need some extra legal assistance?
If you want to know whether you need a landlord lawyer, keep reading to see what options may be best for you.
When Would You Need a Lawyer?
The reality is that being a landlord is difficult work, and some tenants may give you trouble from time to time.
If this happens, do you know what to do? How do you react if you have to evict a tenant but they won’t leave? What do you do if a tenant causes damage to your property?
Most people want to have a lawyer on their side because they have more experience and know the specific laws that apply to various situations.
As a landlord, it is wise to hire a lawyer before you start renting to tenants to make sure you know how to draft your leases and avoid lawsuits in the future. Lawyers give you the information you need to be proactive, but they also help you when you need their advice after the fact.
Reasons to Hire a Landlord Lawyer
As stated earlier, landlord lawyers do a lot of work for landlords and can be a great asset. Preventing problems from happening or dealing with problems after they occur is important if you want to avoid legal trouble.
Drafting Your Leases
You need to have a clear lease agreement with any tenant. Having your agreement looked over by a lawyer is a good investment for you because it can help you protect yourself in the future.
Providing your landlord lawyer with the concerns and points that you want to have covered in the lease will help them draft the perfect lease agreement. You can always revise or revisit the lease agreement when new issues come up.
A lot of states try to make evictions easy for the landlords, but it is common for landlords to submit the wrong form. In other instances, you may date the form wrong or have a small error that you didn’t notice.
A landlord attorney is going to assist you in making sure that you have the right paperwork and that you are filling it out exactly as necessary. It will streamline the entire process and make things go much more smoothly for you as the landlord.
If this is your first eviction or the tenant has a lawyer to fight the eviction, the help of a professional in the legal arena is unprecedented.
Are You Being Sued?
Some potential tenants or current tenants may want to sue you. If this happens, it may be for a variety of reasons.
A tenant may say that they believe you are discriminating against them. While you may be righteously following the HUD guidelines for fair housing practices, you still may get tenants that don’t feel you are doing what you should be doing.
Hiring a lawyer is a great way to help resolve the issue before a judge sees the case. You want to avoid this to make sure you don’t get bad press or a bad reputation as a landlord for future tenants.
Another reason you may be sued is if someone claims they got hurt because of your negligence. Personal injury claims are generally very personal, so you need a lawyer to be sure that you are not getting taken advantage of.
Defense of Reputation
When you have a bad reputation as a landlord, you are less likely to get tenants. This is bad for your business.
There are instances where you may get some bad press and the negative public image may need to be rectified. There are landlord advocates that want to help you when this type of situation occurs.
A landlord lawyer is going to be able to give you information about what you should say and how you should say it to make sure your words are not misconstrued. They also may be able to help you figure out how to turn your negative image around.
Appearing in Court
Eventually, you may need to be the plaintiff in a case against another person regarding your rental property. You may want to sue a contractor that didn’t do a job or sue a tenant for breach of contract.
Regardless of the situation, you need to have an experienced landlord lawyer on your side.
At least getting a little bit of coaching from a lawyer will help you know what might be coming up in the courtroom and what you need to do as a landlord. The amount of assistance you will need will vary based on the severity of the situation you are in.
Hiring a Landlord Lawyer
If you’re ready to hire a landlord attorney to help you with your properties, now is the best time to do it.
You can protect yourself from future problems or deal with problems that you are having right now. Being a landlord is not always easy, so having someone to help back you up is a very smart thing to do.
When it is time for you to get a lawyer, there are plenty of opportunities to find great professionals with experience.
Check out our website to see what type of attorney is best for your situation.
In the United States, almost three million people die per year. What happens to their belongings when they die?
Depending on the situation, the estate goes into probate. Probate is a long and sometimes frustrating process for determining who gets what. But everything rests on how your parents set up their will, estate, or trust.
A parent’s passing is heartbreaking for the entire family. Regardless of how your parents set up their estate, there are some things you should do.
Read on to learn what to do when a parent dies.
Obtain a Death Certificate
You might need help with how to handle an estate. It depends on how your parents set up their finances. But the first thing you’ll need is a death certificate.
It’s often necessary to turn off gas, electricity, Internet service and more. But without a death certificate, customer service people won’t discuss any of this with you.
If your loved one dies at home, call 911. Someone needs to come and pronounce your loved one as deceased. Be sure and notify the parent’s family doctor as well.
Arrange for the Funeral
Many people have prepaid burial plans. If your parent had one, call the designated mortuary. They’ll handle everything for you.
If there was no plan, it’s tougher. Don’t do this all by yourself. Ask family and friends to help make funeral or cremation arrangements.
Notify Family, Friends, and Employer
Have family and close friends help you notify anyone you can think of that should know about the death.
If your parent was still working, call his employer. There may be a final paycheck or even life insurance or other survivor benefits due.
Speaking of life insurance…
Call the Life Insurance Company
If you know your parent had a life insurance policy, call the life insurance company. They’ll need a copy of the death certificate too.
Are you the sole beneficiary of the life insurance policy? If your parent has a surviving spouse, you might not get the entire policy payout.
Notify the Social Security office of your loved one’s death. They’ll also need a copy of the death certificate.
Cancel any payments your parent was receiving. You don’t want to end up owing money to the Social Security Administration.
Cancel, Cancel, Cancel
The Social Security office notifies Medicare of your parent’s death. But cancel your parent’s Part D Medicare (prescription drugs). Also, cancel any extra Advantage plans.
Cancel life insurance as well and close out credit card accounts. Notify the three big credit bureaus as well.
To avoid identify theft, cancel your loved one’s voter registration and driver’s license.
Know What to Do When a Parent Dies
It’s never easy when a loved one dies. But you should know what to do when a parent dies. Get legal help if necessary.
Get a death certificate right away. Then notify family and friends and get help arranging the funeral if it wasn’t already planned.
Call the life insurance company as well as the Social Security Administration. Then cancel everything that’s no longer necessary.
Remember to take good care of yourself throughout this process. If you need help finding a good lawyer, please check our directory.
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.