Many people believe that landlords have all of the power in a landlord-tenant relationship. After all, they have the title to building, have the power to approve or decline certain tenants, hand out the keys, and set out rules for the unit. However, the law does not exclusively protect landlords and provides tenants with protection against unjust actions by the landlords. After all, there would be a serious issue if landlords had the ability to simply put tenants out on the street whenever they chose to do so. Instead, both parties must go through a specific legal process if the landlord wants to evict someone.
Even after an eviction action is filed, a tenant does not have to simply accept that they will be evicted. Instead, they have the ability to bring certain legal defenses as to why they should not be evicted. In addition to these defenses, tenants may also file counterclaims against the landlord claiming wrongful action on the landlord’s part. A successful counterclaim can result in a reduction of rent owed or even monetary compensation to the tenant. The following are some common tenant counterclaims:
- Breach of warranty of habitability;1
- Personal injury on the premises due to a dangerous condition the landlord allowed to exist, such as lead paint poisoning;
- Breach of quiet enjoyment of your premises;
- Unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation;2
- Fraudulent or unfair practices;
- Invasion of privacy;
- Infliction of emotional distress.
Contact a Tacoma eviction lawyer today to retain legal counsel
While the eviction process is often used by landlords to evict problematic tenants, it can also function as an opportunity for tenants to bring a legal action against a landlord for various issues. In addition, sometimes, an eviction action is the impetus for a tenant to bring an action against a landlord for a long-standing disagreement or condition. As a result, anyone who is party to an eviction action should retain legal counsel to ensure that their interests are protected. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Tacoma eviction attorneys, call the Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess today at 253-572-1000 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.