Being a landlord comes with a lot of responsibilities. You are allowing someone, most often complete strangers, to move into a home or apartment you own.
There are landlord laws on the local, state and federal levels that you must adhere to. It is important that both the property owner and client understand these tenant laws. Although it is your property, tenant rights do exist.
While some tenants are great, you should prepare for the ones that are not.
If you are thinking about becoming a landlord, know your rights before renting out your property.
One of the most important rental property laws is The Fair Housing Act. The act provides for equal access to housing without regard to race, gender, religion, nationality or disability.
Although discrimination is never legal, there are some circumstances where housing can be set aside or denied. Examples would be a housing complex for senior citizens.
In other instances, someone may pose a risk to others. These would include a registered sex offender or someone who uses illegal drugs.
Outside of federal housing laws, all states have their own tenant laws.
The best protection for landlords is a very good tenant’s lease. A lease outlines all the rules, policies and expectations of the lease.
A good lease includes the effective dates, rules about pets, guests, utilities and maintenance. It also includes the amount of the monthly rent, if there is a late fee, and at what point rent is considered late.
Although the landlord owns the property, they cannot show up or enter at will, unless outlined in the lease. Tenants’ rights include an expectation of privacy, so there are times when the landlords’ behavior could border along the lines of harassment.
Depending on state laws, a landlord may be required to give the tenant advance notice of when he will enter the property. Typically, the notice is 24-48 hours. Exceptions are provided in emergency situations.
Landlords must understand laws regarding eviction. There are several reasons why a landlord will start a tenant eviction. Topping the list is the failure to pay rent, being a nuisance to others, and destruction of property.
Regardless of the infraction, landlords must abide by the tenant laws of their state and as agreed upon in the signed lease.
In some states, a tenant can remain in a property until ordered to vacate by a judge. Tenants are served with an order of eviction giving them a specified amount of time to vacate the premises. Oftentimes the local sheriff’s department gets involved.
You never know when you will need to use landlord laws to deal with a tenant. It’s always better to have a full understanding of your rights.
No one wants to evict a tenant, but if the need arises, it’s best to prepare ahead of time. If you’re weighing your options on legal action and have questions, click here. We can help.