The Important Rules and Laws for Landlords to Keep in Mind
Landlords need to know some things so that they can be successful. One of the most important thing to know for all property owners is rules and laws of rental properties. Some federal laws are there to safeguard the rights of renters. It looks like that renters rights are above the property owner’s.
Making sure all rules and regulations are being followed is the duty of the landlord, so they must be aware of every law. In fact they must also keep in mind that laws may vary for each state. So, for carrying out basic rental activities like increasing rent, evicting a tenant, or looking for new tenant; the landlord must check the newest applicable laws. If you don’t follow the laws properly, the tenant might sue you for a hefty amount.
In this article, you will learn some of the vital rules and regulations for landlords to know. Continue reading to know more.
Rules related to discrimination
The property laws don’t allow a property owner to deny accommodation to anyone on the basis of any prejudiced reasons. The reason is that there is a Fair Housing Act in place in every state of the country, which prohibits landlords from any discrimination related to renters on basis of race, religion, color, nationality, sex, disability or familial status.
Furthermore, landlords are not allowed ask questions relates to personal lives of tenants. The law also prohibits setting restricting criteria for people belonging to a certain group. Also, landlords can’t cancel a rental agreement, even if a tenant’s situations change.
Reporting the Credit reporting according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, permission from a perspective tenant is required to carry out a credit check. Landlords also need to provide the applicant the information of the agency used for credit reporting.
Going further, if you want to deny the application on the basis of the credit report; you need to inform the applicant about that—explaining the factors that affected your judgment on the application.
Rules for writing a rental agreement
The rental agreement, which is a legal document, should include the term of lease, late fees, rent, and security deposit. There should be rules about maintenance, pets, and property examinations. There can’t be any clauses going against laws of the country or state. For example, laws about rent, security deposit or late fee control.
It is allowed to break a lease legally by the landlord in case the tenant violates the lease. If that’s the case, the tenant can be evicted with the help of eviction courts. In case there is no signed agreement, the landlord has to follow verbal rental agreement rules and laws.
Laws for privacy rights and quiet enjoyment
The law related to “quite enjoyment” also gives privacy to tenants. It forbids the landlord to enter the rental unit without prior notice for something like a property inspection. Nevertheless, this law also states that the renter needs to take care of the neighbors’ peace. Also, the landlord can’t be stopped to enter the rental unit after they have given proper notification.
Laws for inspecting rental property
Landlords need to follow rules of property inspection that are discussed further. One thing to keep in mind is that visits without prior notice are not allowed. You should keep in mind to specify a rational time for inspection of the rental unit in written form. Also the lease agreement should instruct how the property inspections will be carried out. Normally a six monthly inspection is practical for rental units.
Security deposit laws
Security deposit amount and period are normally regulated by the laws of the country. Some states’ laws enforce landlords to keep the deposit in accounts that give interest. So, at the end of the rent tenure, the amount is refunded with interest if there is no unpaid rent or agreement violations.
Safety, maintenance, and repairs
It’s vital that property owners provide livable accommodation to all renters even if they violate the lease. Furthermore, availability of trash disposal, heating and cooling, hot and cold water, and other essential utilities should be ensured.
Landlords are also responsible to keep the property free from vermin and pests. Nevertheless, the renters also need to take care of the rental unit. The landlord can mention how clean you need your property to be kept. Tenants need to quickly inform the landlord for any required maintenance.
Property owners are allowed to cancel the lease if a renter breaks the rental agreement in some ways. Nonetheless, they should follow eviction laws. If the renter violates the agreement by not paying the rent, causing damage to the unit, or breaking any section of the lease agreement; you can evict them by first serving them suitable notice. Normally these notices can be used: “cure or quit,” “pay or quit,” or unconditional quit.
If you want to evict a renter, you must follow the law as well as record all communication with the renter. A self-help eviction is not legal so you must avoid that. Landlords are not allowed to remove the renter’s personal things, change the locks, or cut off utilities—even in case of a lease violation. Landlords must also get a court order before they start the eviction.
To become a savvy landlord, you need to keep up with the changes in the landlord-tenant laws as well as how to go about them. In order to avoid any future issues, you should get legal advice before renting out your property or making decisions about your lease agreement. The landlord-tenant laws are there to keep the tenants safe and guard your property. These rules can be help to safeguard your rental investment. If not followed correctly, these rules and regulations can put you in trouble. You must ensure that you are well aware of your legal rights and responsibilities as a landlord prior to renting out your property.
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