Real estate or rental property ownership, let's face it, is like attempting to cross a quicksand. You must constantly check local, state, and federal regulations to make sure you are not trespassing on your own land. The interests of tenants are always protected over landlords' interests by the many housing regulations that are in place.
Thus, it may appear as though landlords have little to no rights. Specific landlord-tenant regulations, however, safeguard a landlord's rights. Some of these rights are covered in this article along with how they safeguard your interests as a landlord.
First, let's talk about the following significant issue: How did landlord-tenant rules change to benefit tenants over the landlord, who made a significant financial investment in a home or apartment?
Why Housing Laws Needed Changes
A growing concern for tenants' wellbeing led to changes in housing law laws.
Unfortunately, this was mostly because tenants had previously been treated unfairly. A landlord who aimed to maximize profit yet neglected to maintain the property came to be known as a "slumlord." As a result, the government set out to defend tenants' interests from repressive landlords by implementing rent control regulations.
Additionally, tenants today are movable, frequently relocating from one city or region to another to meet their needs. Therefore, current tenancy agreement laws might not be applicable or useful. For instance, tenants once improved and repaired rental apartments. Typically, they did so because they stayed
Rental apartments must be "fit for purpose," according to the implied warranty clause. This indicates that the home meets requirements and is suitable for occupancy. Heating, hot water, garbage disposal, and plumbing must all function. Naturally, the tenant is in charge of maintaining the property once they move in. However, it is still the landlords' duty to see that necessary servicing and repairs are made.
In this case, the tenant is liable for any harm done. The damage is either repaired by the renter, deducted from their security deposit, or results in a lease violation.
What Rights Do I Have as a Landlord?
Even though they can seem like the bare minimum, landlords do have rights. Let's talk about a few of them rights in quick.
1. The authority to instruct a tenant on how to maintain the property clean
A landlord has the right to guarantee that the rental apartment is kept clean to a specific standard. Landlords have the authority to demand that renters keep the area clean of pet waste, remove garbage on a regular basis, and maintain hygienic conditions to deter bugs and rodents. This is why including a cleanliness clause in the rental agreement is a smart idea.
Of course, a landlord has no authority to dictate how frequently the carpets should be vacuumed or the bathtub cleaned. However, you have the authority to instruct a tenant.
2. The landlord's legal options if a renter damages property
If you believe a renter is defacing the property, you have the authority to inspect it as the landlord. Of course, you must comply with state regulations and provide the appropriate notification. You can write down the evidence and take pictures while doing a comprehensive check. After that, you can choose the best course of action.
A breach of the lease agreement is the destruction of property. As a result, you have the right to file for eviction. This entails delivering a written "cure or quit" notice to the defaulting tenant.
You can file for eviction if the tenant hasn't fixed the damage after a reasonable amount of time. You have the authority to withhold a portion of the rent after the tenant vacates the property.
3. The option to check tenants out
Before a lease is signed, the landlord retains the authority to interview prospective tenants.
The landlord verifies the potential tenant's character as part of the screening process. The decision to sign the rental agreement is made after that.
A decision cannot be made based on any discriminatory standards, nevertheless. In order to avoid discriminating against any tenant who requests housing, it is crucial to understand what the Fair Housing Act states.
A landlord is allowed to evaluate potential renters using the following standards:
Face-to-face discussion or interview to evaluate the suitability of the potential tenant.
Verify their legitimacy.
Verify their credit history and score.
Obtain testimonials from your prior jobs and landlords.
Check to see if they have any criminal history. State laws, though, might forbid this check.
4. The ability to collect security deposits and rent.
The security deposit amount and rental price can be decided by the landlord. State rules, however, can impose a cap on the size of the security deposit you might demand.
Upon signing the rental agreement, the renter shall pay the security deposit and the first month's rent in advance. In this context, the term "rent" refers to all fees outlined in the lease agreement. These costs include utility bills (if specified), property taxes, and pet-related costs.
According to state rules, landlords are permitted to demand a security deposit. This money serves as a form of protection against loss or unpaid rent. The security deposit can be used by the landlord to cover the expense of repairing damage brought on by a renter.
But a landlord typically has to give the tenant their security deposit back when the lease is over.
5. Ability to evict renters for breaking their lease
While using the landlord's property, tenants have duties to the landlord. They consist of:
Rent is the term used here to refer to all kinds of payment specified in the lease agreement. As a result, the tenant is obligated to pay these fees. A lease violation is unpaid rent.
Not altering the construction of the property: The renter may only make modifications to the property if the lease agreement permits them. For instance, if the lease permits it, they might repaint the walls and put up shelves. However, expanding a room's size by the removal of walls or other structural changes is not permitted. In addition, a tenant is not allowed to harm the property.
Illegal activities: Tenants are not allowed to engage in illegal activity on the property.
Landlords have the right to issue a "cure or quit" eviction notice in the event that any of these regulations are broken or are not followed.
Let's say a tenant doesn't pay the rent, as an example. The landlord is then authorized to begin the eviction process. This would include demonstrating to a judge that the renter is breaking the terms of the lease. The renter may then be evicted if the rent is not paid in full within the allotted time.
6. The ability to enter the property
Even after renting out a house, landlords have access to it. The major requirement in this is that they must notify the tenants in advance before coming. The majority of states in the US require a 24-hour notice, however some go much further. Tenants may bring a privacy invasion lawsuit against the landlord if they break this provision.
However, the landlord has the right to enter without prior warning in an emergency to protect his property from damage.
7. Ability to conduct a "exit" inspection
When a tenant notifies the landlord that they want to vacate the property, the landlord has the right to inspect the premises. They can check the property for any damage that goes beyond normal "wear and tear" after receiving the warning.
Daily use-related "wear and tear" refers to cosmetic damage to the property. However, it excludes significant harm to the furnishings, fixtures, or fittings. A huge hole in drywall is different from surface scratches on a baseboard, for instance.
In the United States, landlord-tenant rules do tend to benefit tenants. However, it's crucial to keep in mind that landlords have special rights to timely collect rent, conduct routine inspections, and dismiss a tenant for breaking the terms of the lease.