August 13, 2014 8:25 AM Subscribe
I have an arbitration clause in my lease. Does this preclude me from using small claims court?
posted by latkes to Law & Government (7 answers total)
I have called several lawyers and have two more to call today but I have not had a clear conversation about this and it seems pretty straightforward:
I have a clause in my lease that requires any controversy related to the lease agreement to be decided by arbitration by one of two arbitration agencies (my landlord chooses which). It also states that if the arbitrator finds against me, I pay the landlord's legal fees. When I told this to one law firm they were like, "yeah, we can't help you."
What I want to know is, is there precedence to answer this question: Can I still take my landlord to small claims court? For example, if she keeps my security deposit when I move out, and I want to contest that, and I go to small claims court, could my landlord simply reply that we have this arbitration clause and therefore she does not have to participate in the small claims process?