Landlord and Tenant law deals with the legal relationship between property owners and property renters. The issues that develop most often deal with the negotiation and drafting of lease agreements, the payment (or non-payment) of rent, the conditions of the leased premises and the obligation for maintenance and repairs and eviction proceedings when a landlord wishes to remove a tenant from the premises.
Questions to Ask and Information to Obtain About Your Prospective Attorney:
- Do you frequently practice in the landlord/tenant law area? How long have you been practicing in this area of the law?
Ask about experience with the type of case that you are interested in retaining the lawyer to handle. If you need a tenant evicted for non-payment of rent, ask the attorney how many eviction proceedings they have done in the past few years.
- Ask for references
“Can you refer me to some people who are familiar with your work?”
- Who will be working on my case?
If it is more than one person, ask about the responsibilities of each member of the team and who will ultimately be in charge?
- Fee Issues:
- Do you charge for an initial consultation? If so, how much and what do I get for it?
- Do you require a retainer? If so, how much and what does it cover?
- What is your hourly rate?
- What is the shortest period of time you bill?
- If I call you on the phone, will you charge this rate to talk to me?
- Do you charge for secretarial and/or legal assistant time? If so, how much?
- Given my issues, can you give a good faith estimate about what this will cost me?
- What are you billing terms? How often do you bill and how soon do I have to pay?
- Will we have a written retainer agreement?
- Do you carry malpractice insurance?
- Have you ever been suspended or disciplined?