What Should You Bring to Your First Meeting with Your Tenant Attorney?

You have a dispute with your landlord about housing code violations in your home. You speak to him about it, and then, when he doesn’t respond, you are frustrated. You write him a letter about the matter, and still it is not resolved. You are upset, and now you’ve made an appointment with a lawyer who concentrates in tenant rights.

What should you bring to the appointment?

The first thing to do is collect all your documents. Be sure to have the lease or rental agreement and all notices of rent increases. Also include every notice he has sent to you and a copy of every letter and notice you have sent to your landlord.

Next, put your papers in chronological order. Begin with the earliest document first and the most recent document last.

I have had clients who were so organized they kept every single document their landlord had given them for the past 20 years. This is outstanding, but not everyone is as organized. Try to do the best you can.

Help me understand what kind of a landlord you have

By bringing all your documents when you initially meet with me, I can better assess your situation. Your documents help me to see what kind of relationship you have with your landlord.

Details that help tenant lawyers are: Has your landlord paid interest on your deposit? Has your landlord always sought an annual rent increase? Is your landlord trying to work with you or has your landlord retained an attorney himself?

All this information helps me to know how to litigate against him, if necessary.

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Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Real Estate Attorney
1458 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Mary Catherine Wiederhold
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Courtney Brown
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