Landlord Blog

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Finding and Hiring an Attorney for Your Rental Unit

Many landlords can handle tenant issues by themselves without legal help. However, you may come across a situation where you need expert advice. This is especially applicable to tenant evictions or property damages. You as a landlord can also be sued by a certain tenant for illegal discrimination or injury if they suspect that you failed to meet your obligations.

If you are a new landlord, consulting with a credible and experienced attorney for certain concerns can help you avoid legal liability. The right attorney will also help you be more aware of your duties to your tenants and avoid future disputes.

On this topic, several questions arise:

1. How do you evaluate a potential attorney?

2. Is there a way to work out a problem with your tenant instead of immediately going to court?

3. What are prepaid legal service plans?

Let's talk about the first of these 3 questions. How do you evaluate a potential attorney?

  • Attorney records – There are license requirements for attorneys in California. You can visit the State Bar’s website at This is a database that will show you an attorney’s official bar membership record and any disciplinary complaints made against them. You can also check the attorney’s license status here.
  • Recommendations – You can ask your friends, co-workers, employers and even other lawyers for their recommendations. Business people or professionals such as bankers, ministers, doctors, social workers and teachers are also good sources. Always exercise due diligence by doing your own research. There are also certified lawyer referral services which you can find on Another option is to call toll free in California: 866-442-2529 (866-44-CA-LAW ). Outside California call 415-538-2250 so you can get a list of referral services.
  • Free legal aid agencies – If you qualify for free legal aid depending on your income, you can check with to see if you qualify for low-income services. provides low-income Californians with easy online access to basic legal resources and attorney information. Also, many law schools have free legal clinics.
  • Dispute resolution programs - Many communities have "dispute resolution" programs. These programs can try to help "mediate" or work out problems instead of going to court.

If you ever need Flavia Berys' help, you can schedule an attorney consultation phone call to get legal advice. Take note that this service is completely different from this educational course. You can access this resource and get it for a discounted rate if you are an active student in the Landlord Prep program. 

For the rest of this lesson, existing Landlord Prep students should log-in to the module entitled During the Tenancy - Hiring Help - Hiring Vendors, Managers, & Attorneys.

Not a member yet? Join the Landlord Prep: Video E-Course and How-To Tutorials so you can access this section and get the complete DIY landlording course. This will help you stay confident and knowledgeable as a landlord.