Business & Finance Renting & Real Estate

Suing a Landlord in Small Claims Court

    • 1). Contact the county court in the area where either you or the landlord lives or where the rental property was located if you no longer live there. Ask them for copies of the forms you need to open a small claims suit. Usually there is a packet of forms with instructions available for individuals without an attorney. Note that there may be a fee for obtaining these forms.

    • 2). Fill out your small claims forms, including as much information about the reason you are suing your landlord as you can. If possible, provide copies of any receipts, your rental agreement or any other written agreements and other relevant documentation to support your claim. Keep the originals of all of these documents since you will need to bring them to court with you later.

    • 3). File your claims forms and any attachments with the court and pay the required filing fee.

    • 4). Serve the landlord with a copy of the claim you've filed, being sure to follow your specific court's procedures. Once the landlord has been served, file a proof of service form with the court.

    • 5). Prepare for your court date by gathering as much evidence as possible to support your claim, including the documentation mentioned in Step 2 and photographs of any damage. If desired, you can also have witnesses appear in court by contacting the court clerk where your case was filed and having a subpoena issued.

    • 6). Appear on time for your court date, with all of your evidence. When the judge questions you regarding your claim, answer honestly and respectfully. Refrain from arguing with the landlord or anyone else present.

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