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October 30, 2015 |

Disputes With Tenants Do Not Need to Go to Court

Landlords generally view the rental of residential property largely as an income-generating business, viewing cash flow in and out as primary issues. Tenants see that same rental more personally since it pertains to a home that provides safety and comfort to their families. When disputes arise, they often end up going through a time-consuming courtroom process that is subject to complex laws and procedures.

By choosing a mediated settlement assisted by an experienced Boston landlord dispute lawyer, both parties have greater flexibility in finding viable solutions to their issues. They can emerge with better relationships that allow them to put past issues aside and move forward with greater mutual understanding.

Mediation Can Make Sense for a Wide Array of Dispute Issues

In essence, mediation places a neutral third party between disputing landlords and tenants, almost like a courtroom judge. However, while a judge is held to results driven by complex legal statutes, mediators can help both parties find innovative solutions to their issues beyond the absolute boundaries of the law.

For example:

• Where judges might look at eviction as the only solution for non-payment of rent, mediators might recognize situations that can be saved through negotiation, such as permitting tenants to pay reduced rent to help them get through a rough period, with future repayment terms to reimburse the landlord over time.

• Judges may offer no flexibility when requiring cash-strapped landlords to make costly repairs needed to meet state or building local code requirements. Mediators might help find innovative ways to bring buildings to code while reducing costs.

• Where judges may support eviction when tenants add residents beyond the time period that would constitute a visit, mediators can encourage modifications to the lease agreement to add sub-tenants for an increase in rent, particularly when the new people are acting in accordance with reasonable tenant standards.

Choosing Between Mediation and Court is Not Always Intuitive

Clearly, evictions can only be handled within the court system. Still, in many cases, neither the landlords nor the tenants benefit from a total separation. When the parties want to repair their relationship rather than end it, mediation provides a means for negotiating a fair solution for everyone.

When the next steps in a dispute are uncertain, the Law Offices of Shaun A. Hannafin can help all parties to understand the advantages and disadvantages of all available legal alternatives. Whether mediation, negotiation or full litigation is required, call us at (617) 848-4572 to identify your options and learn how we can help.

Posted in Landlord-Tenant Information

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