How to Sue Your Landlord to Resolve Landlord-Tenant Disputes

If you believe your landlord has not met his or her obligations, has breached your lease agreement, has discriminated against you or has committed illegal violations, you may have grounds to sue your landlord.

Try to settle any disputes with your landlord through negotiation or mediation before considering legal action.

Consult local housing authorities or an attorney about civil rights, fair housing laws and tenant rights in your state if attempts to resolve disputes through negotiation or mediation are unsuccessful.

Locate an attorney who is familiar with landlord-tenant laws in your state; contact local housing authorities or consult phone directory listings, Internet listings, friends or family members.

Collect evidence to support your case, such as rental agreements, correspondence, rent and security deposit receipts, photos and other pertinent documents.

Meet with your selected attorney to review your grounds for a lawsuit.

Inquire about legal fees and court costs during the appointment with your attorney.

Retain an attorney to pursue legal action against your landlord.

Warnings

  • Consult a knowledgeable attorney before seeking legal action. Landlords must comply with civil laws, fair housing practices, and local and state landlord-tenant laws, so rental statutes are quite confusing and complex.

Tips

  • For tenants who win lawsuits against their landlords, judges sometimes require the landlords to pay the tenant's legal fees and court costs.