I'm taking my ex-landlord to court. I have multiple claims. He said he's interested in settling and so am I. Is there any standard procedure for coming up with a settlement agreement? Obviously I agree with all my claims in some way so how can I come up with a number? Are there any example settlement agreements proposals online?

  • Are you looking for a way to come to agreement on a dollar amount somewhere between what you are asking for in court and the zero dollars I presume the landlord thinks they should pay? And, it is possible the the small claims court has a standard settlement form and also they may provide free mediation. Sep 24, 2020 at 2:39

2 Answers 2


The same way you decide when making an offer on a house, a car, a kebab, a coffee ...

This is not a legal decision; its a business decision.

Like all negotiations, think about your BATNA and remember that in your situation there are at least 2:

  • You stop with the status quo - you keep what you have, they keep what they have. Since you are the plaintiff, this is always an option for you; you can just ... stop. When you're the defendant, you may not have this BATNA.
  • You pursue your full legal entitlements to their ultimate conclusion. Best case, you win and get what you are legally entitled less your unrecoverable costs (your time, some legal fees etc.). Worst case, you get nothing are successfully counter-sued and have to pay their costs as well. Or, more likely, you end up somewhere in between. So, look at the strength of your case, what it will cost to peruse it and estimate what this BATNA is worth.

Now, think about their BATNAs - they are likely to be related to yours.

If your BATNA overlaps their BATNA then there is the opportunity (but never the certainty) of a negotiated agreement somewhere in between them. If the don't overlap, you just need to pursue your BATNA while they pursue theirs - and may the best team win.

Then you negotiate.


Damages. Simple and plain, you start with the ammount of damages. A settlement is meant to make you whole again. How much that depends on what happened. The easiest are repairs or losses.

If your car was dented and the repair did cost 253.32$, that's your damages. If the door was locked by him and you couldn't leave the house otherwise, and as a result you missed a day of work, he'd have to compensate you for the money you couldn't earn as you were trapped inside.

Some monetary amounts are meant to lessen the blow, usually coming with injury cases. If you slipped because he didn't remove the ice on the porch and you broke your arm, he'd have to stem the doctor's bill ("repair"), possibly for the inability to work ("losses") and atop that, some amount for the pain you had to suffer. Pain and suffering often is murky in how much it is worth.

Some torts do have statutory damages. If someone infringes on copyright, the statutory damages for normal infringement are prescribed in the law as 750 to 30000 $, and the number you actually could expect there would be determined based on seriousness and (somewhat) the wealth of the infringer.

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