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Landlord Tenant Litigation Still Going On – Here’s How We Can Help

The various state and local shelter in place orders generally don’t restrict tenants from suing landlords (for wrongful eviction, habitability complaints, etc.), and our firm continues to advise and represent both landlords and tenants about such claims. At Steven Adair MacDonald, we’ve come up with creative, alternate remedies for some of the current hurdles in landlord-tenant litigation.

Alternate Remedies for Misconduct

As to claims by landlords, although there are some indications that shelter in place will end – or at least ease – before too much longer, the existing state and local restrictions on unlawful detainers may well remain in existence for several month after the shelter in place orders are lifted. However, the legal system provides a number of remedies to address misconduct by residential or commercial tenants. 

Alternate Type of Eviction

For example, there is an alternative type of eviction proceeding called ejectment, which may be filed against either residential or commercial tenants if the tenancy has been validly terminated by proper written notice or otherwise. Ejectments don’t go through the court system as quickly as an unlawful detainer. However, the filing of the lawsuit, and the use of pre-trial discovery, etc. may suffice to bring the tenant to the bargaining table fairly quickly – especially if the tenant has no viable defense to the lawsuit, and doesn’t want to be exposed to ever-mounting claims for damages and (if provided by the lease) attorney fees. 

If the tenant misconduct consists of something like nuisance, waste, or harassment, other effective and fairly speedy legal pre-trial remedies may exist, including seeking a restraining order, an injunction, or a receivership. 

Pre-Trial Writ of Attachment

In commercial non-payment of rent situations, landlords may be able to seek a pre-trial writ of attachment, which will serve to freeze cash or other assets. This will not only put more financial pressure on the tenant to settle, but will also increase the odds that assets will be readily available to execute upon if the landlord ultimately obtains a judgment against the tenant. 

Our firm continues to remain open and available during these difficult and uncertain times to advise and represent both landlords and tenants in real property disputes

Jethro S. Busch, Esq. 

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