How Much Can I Sue My Landlord For Emotional Distress?

How Much Can I Sue My Landlord For Emotional Distress - Can I Sue My Landlord After I Move Out - What Kind Of Lawyer Do I Need To Sue My Landlord

How much can you sue your landlord for emotional distress?

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • what is emotional distress
  • what evidence do you need to sue a landlord for emotional distress
  • what kind of lawyer you’ll need to sue your landlord 
  • whether you can sue your landlord after you move out

Let’s dig in.

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How Much Can I Sue My Landlord For Emotional Distress?

How much you can sue your landlord for emotional distress can vary from $1 to thousands of dollars

The amount you can sue your landlord for emotional distress varies depending on several factors, such as:

  • the severity of the emotional distress, 
  • the laws in your jurisdiction, and 
  • the specific circumstances of your case. 

Emotional distress claims are typically classified as “non-economic” damages in a personal injury or civil lawsuit.

Non-economic damages, also known as general damages, are a category of damages in civil lawsuits that are not related to specific financial losses.

Instead, these damages address intangible harm or losses that a person may have suffered. 

These damages are typically associated with physical or emotional pain, suffering, and other non-monetary losses. 

Non-economic damages are often challenging to quantify because they involve subjective experiences and emotions. 

Read More: Do I Have 30 Days To Move After An Eviction?

What Is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress, in the context of law, refers to the psychological and emotional harm or suffering that a person experiences due to the actions or negligence of another party. 

It is a key element in various types of legal claims, including:

  • personal injury
  • intentional torts
  • some employment-related cases 

Emotional distress can manifest in various forms, such as anxiety:

  • depression, 
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 
  • fear, and 
  • other emotional reactions. 

Here are some key points about emotional distress in law:

Types of Emotional Distress Claims

  • Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (NIED): This occurs when a person suffers emotional distress as a result of another party’s negligent actions or failure to exercise reasonable care.
  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED): This involves intentional, extreme, and outrageous conduct that causes severe emotional distress to another person.
  • Emotional Distress in Personal Injury: Emotional distress is often a component of personal injury claims, where plaintiffs seek compensation for physical and emotional injuries resulting from accidents or other incidents.
  • Emotional Distress in Employment Law: In some employment-related cases, such as workplace harassment or discrimination, employees may seek damages for emotional distress suffered due to unlawful actions by their employers.

Elements of Emotional Distress Claims

  • Severity: In legal cases, the emotional distress must typically be severe or extreme to form the basis of a claim. Minor or ordinary emotional reactions may not be sufficient.
  • Causation: The emotional distress must be a direct result of the defendant’s actions or negligence.
  • Objective vs. Subjective: Some jurisdictions require proof that a reasonable person would have suffered emotional distress under similar circumstances (objective standard), while others consider the individual plaintiff’s subjective experience.


Plaintiffs seeking damages for emotional distress often provide evidence such as 

  • medical records, 
  • therapist or psychiatrist reports, 
  • witness testimony, and 
  • other documentation to support their claims.

Read More: Kicking Someone Out Of Your House Who Is Not On The Lease


Successful emotional distress claims may result in monetary compensation to the injured party. 

The amount of compensation can vary widely based on factors like:

  • the severity of the distress
  • the impact on the individual’s life
  • applicable laws in the jurisdiction

Read More: Can My Landlord Raise My Rent $300 Dollars?

What Evidence Do You Need To Sue A Landlord For Emotional Distress?

To sue a landlord for emotional distress, you’ll need to provide evidence to support your claim. 

Emotional distress claims can be challenging to prove, so having strong and credible evidence is essential. 

Here are some types of evidence that can be helpful in such cases:

  • Records of Communications: Save any emails, text messages, letters, or other written correspondence that document the landlord’s actions, statements, or responses to complaints.
  • Photographs or Videos: If the emotional distress is related to the condition of the rental property, take photos or videos as evidence of any issues, such as unsafe conditions, mold, pests, or property damage.
  • Witness Statements: Statements from neighbors, roommates, or other tenants who have witnessed the landlord’s behavior or the conditions of the rental property can serve as corroborating evidence.
  • Medical Records: If you sought medical or psychological treatment for emotional distress, obtain copies of your medical records, therapist’s notes, or psychiatric evaluations that document your condition, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • Documentation of Damages: Keep records of any financial losses or expenses incurred as a result of the emotional distress, such as medical bills, therapy costs, or lost wages due to the distress.
  • Diary or Journal Entries: Maintaining a diary or journal where you record incidents, dates, times, and your emotional reactions can be compelling evidence to show the ongoing impact of the distress.
  • Testimony: Be prepared to provide your own testimony during the legal proceedings. Describe your emotional experiences, how they have affected your daily life, and any specific incidents involving the landlord.

Read More: What Can I Do If My Landlord Enters Without Permission?

What Kind Of Lawyer Do I Need To Sue My Landlord?

To sue your landlord, you will typically need a lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant law.

This is also known as housing or real estate law. 

However, let’s say you need to take your landlord to court for emotional distress or other damages.

Then, a civil litigation attorney can help you navigate the legal process. 

They handle a wide range of civil cases, including disputes between individuals and businesses.

Let’s say your emotional distress resulted from a physical injury or hazardous conditions on the property.

In this case, a personal injury attorney may be appropriate. 

They specialize in cases involving injuries and damages caused by others’ negligence.

Can I Sue My Landlord After I Move Out?

Yes, you can sue your landlord after you move out if you believe you have a valid legal claim against them. 

Keep in mind that there are statutes of limitations (time limits) for filing lawsuits.

Therefore, it’s important to take prompt action if you believe you have a valid claim against your landlord after moving out.

In many states, the statute of limitations for emotional distress claims is generally two years from the date of the incident or discovery of the injury.

Talk To A Lawyer About Your Options

If you need to talk to an attorney about your tenant rights, fill out the form below. 

You deserve: 

  • to live in an affordable home with privacy
  • to keep your family safe
  • to not illegally get kicked out of your home

We can defend your rights if your landlord is causing you emotional distress. 

Talk soon. 

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