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March 9, 2016

Updated February 25, 2020

Eviction notices can be daunting for all involved- both for Landlords and Tenants. While most issues are encouraged to be cured via problem-solving and clear communication, occasionally an eviction notice will be served. 

Both sides should know that they could ultimately end up in front of a judge. Eviction processes are highly regulated since the law protects both sides and the court makes the final decision. Instead of allowing people to take the law into their own hands, the eviction process ensures both the Tenant and Landlord are given fair treatment.

Luckily, this process is quick when compared to other legal cases, as it is considered a "summary" court procedure. This means timelines for arguments are shortened to speed up the resolution or court decision. Instead of waiting months to hear the case, the Landlord and Tenant can appear before a local court soon after the Landlord files a complaint. 

Lease Agreement 

Over 100 million Americans rent their homes each year. And with the cost of purchasing a house on the rise, the number of Americans choosing to rent is also increasing. 

Although lease agreements are signed every day and seem like fairly standard legal documents, it’s crucial that both landlords and tenants understand and agree to the terms of this important legal contract before signing on the dotted line.  

At first glance, a lease agreement creates a legally-binding relationship in which a landlord agrees to rent property to a tenant for a fee. However, both parties must adhere to the terms specified in a lease agreement once it is signed, and those terms are not just about payment. 

For example, a landlord must provide a safe environment, attend to necessary maintenance, and respect a tenant’s privacy by not entering the premises without advance notice (quiet enjoyment). 

Conversely, a tenant promises to pay rent and utilities on-time, respect the landlord’s rules regarding smoking and pet ownership, and not conduct any illegal business on the premise. 

If either party violates the terms of the agreement, the contract can be terminated early (eviction), and legal action can be pursued. 

Unfortunately, the majority of Americans don’t understand the contractual obligations established through a lease agreement, or how to protect themselves thereafter. 

Whether you’re a renter or a landlord, it’s important to learn more about lease agreements, read about rent horror stories, and explore exactly how this important legal document is laid out, so you can stay on the right side of the law in the event of a contractual issue.

Warranty Deed 

In 2018, nearly 6 million homes were sold in America. If you’re part of that statistic and are buying or selling property, it’s crucial you secure your investment. 

Using a warranty deed is a good start. Warranty deeds are used to legally transfer the ownership of real estate from a grantor (current owner) to a grantee (new owner), and provide certain safeguards for each party. 

Specifically, compared to other types of deeds, a warranty deed offers substantial protection for buyers, because a seller must make the following six covenants (promises): 

Present Covenants (promises that): 

  1. Covenant of Seisin: the deed accurately describes the property being transferred
  2. Covenant of the Right to Convey: the grantor is legally able to transfer the property 
  3. Covenant Against Encumbrances: there are no hidden mortgages or liens against the property 

Future Covenants (promises to): 

  1. Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment: defend against future challenges against the grantee’s title to the property (so the seller can’t come back after a year and claim the property is still theirs)
  2. Covenant of Warranty: defend against future encroachment challenges to the grantee’s property (example of what this means)
  3. Covenant of Further Assurance: fix any future problems with the title 

Possessing a warranty deed offers buyers and sellers the ability to sue for monetary compensation if issues occur after the sale has been made. 

Whether you’re a buyer of a seller, it’s important to learn how to use a warranty deed to protect yourself from potential financial and legal issues before and after a real estate sale is complete. 

To help visualize the eviction process, Legal Templates created an infographic to detail how this works and what to expect:

Source: This article was published with permission from LegalTemplates