Reasons a landlord can take a tenant to court
5 minute read
May 9, 2021


Clashes between owners and tenants are not always easy to resolve. In some instances, going to court is the best way to fix the matter. A landlord can have the legal right to sue their tenant in many circumstances. A landlord may take a tenant to court for a variety of reasons. Read this article carefully to know the reasons a landlord can take a tenant to court.

Reasons for taking a tenant to court

One may bring a tenant to court for a variety of reasons. The following are some of the most common and top reasons for a landlord to sue a tenant.

  • Property Damage
  • Unpaying of Rent
  • illegally keeping a Pet
  • Unpaying of utility bills
  • Owning of Security Deposit Amount
  • Countersue for the Security Deposit
  • Illegal Dealings
  • Costs Associated with the Disposal of the Tenant’s Abandoned Property
  • Recovery of Rent Lost Due to an Illegal Moving Out
  • Unapproved modifications to the property
  • Breaches related to Lease Agreement

1- Property Damage

If a tenant living for a long time in the property damages it, the landlord has the full right to sue the tenant. The landlord starts by deducting the amount of loss from the security deposit. And if, in any case, the security deposit does not fully cover the cost of the failure, the landlord has the full right to take the tenant to court to recover the remaining funds owed him.

2- Unpaying of Rent

The landlord can notice the tenant pay rent or leave the property if the resident has not paid the monthly rent. If that fails, the landlord can apply for eviction. He also can sue the tenant for whatever rent they owe them at the same time.

3- Keeping a Pet Illegally

Pets are well known for causing damage to the home stuff. If the landlord of the property in which the tenant is living has a no-pet policy, avoid keeping a pet. If, in any case, he learns that the tenant has a pet, he can easily sue him or her for damages as well as the further harm the pet has done to the property.

4- Unpaid utility bills

Payment of utility bills is the responsibility of the tenants who own a property. So if, in any case, there are any unpaid utility bills in the tenant’s name at the rental property, the landlord has the right to sue him or her to get the money back. The landlord will charge this number from the tenant’s security deposit. If the tenant’s security deposit is insufficient to cover the entire costs, the landlord can file a suit in small claims court to restore the remaining funds.

5- Owning Security Deposit Amount

If a landlord deducts the maximum amount of money from the tenant’s security deposit, but still the tenant owes more money, then the landlord can go to a small claims court to recover the balance.

6- Countersue for the Security Deposit

If, in any case, the tenant thinks you unjustly removed their security deposit, then the tenant also has a right that he or she can file a lawsuit against the landlord. Then in such a situation, the landlord can countersue by demonstrating that he has the lawful right to deny or deduct the money from their security deposit.

7- Illegal Dealings

Illegal dealings are prohibited in several real estate properties, majorly all of them. So if in any situation the tenants use the land for unlawful purposes. The landlord can sue them for the recovery of such damages.

8- Cost of Abandoning the Property

The landlord has the right to sue a tenant for the loss of disposing or harming their abandoned property.

9- Reclaiming Rent

The landlord can sue the tenant and take him to court to reclaim the rent, which is payable for the remaining period of the property lease since the tenant moves out before it was already over.

10- Recovery of Expenses 

Few states will also approve a landlord to pursue a tenant who has vacated the property early in exchange for the extra costs of finding a new tenant for the property, such as marketing and services expenses.

11- Unapproved Modifications to the property

Modification without the landlord’s permission on any real estate property is not allowed. Suppose a tenant has made unauthorized modifications to the property without the landlord’s consent. In that case, the landlord can sue the tenant to recoup restoring the property to its original state.

12- Breach of Lease Agreement

Suppose the tenant has committed violations of any clause of the contract and has caused the landlord financial, mental, or physical damages. In that case, bringing the tenant to court can be the only best way to get the money back that landlord owes.

Is Suing for Damages the Only choice left?

Rather than filing a complaint, a landlord may send a demand letter to the tenant in the expectation that it persuades the tenant to pay the rent. This letter may be threatening enough to keep the tenant out of court. A landlord can also choose to do nothing and treat any losses as a learning opportunity for the future.


As I mentioned above that there are several reasons to sue a tenant. But before you sue your tenant do consider all the terms and conditions. First, try to solve the conflicts with patience. If things do not work, then the landlord has a full right to sue the tenant or take him or her to court for whatever the reason is.

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