Setting The Stage: The Fundamentals Rights And Responsibilities Of A Landlord
by Barsha Bhattacharya Real Estate 13 October 2023
Being a landlord comes with its own set of challenges. They are the ones who rent out properties to generate income, or sometimes some extra income. If you are a landlord, you are thinking that rental properties are a lucrative investment to make. But the truth is that you need to manage a lot of responsibilities in addition to certain rights being given to you. Managing and knowing your rights in detail helps prevent legal issues with your tenants in the future and also assists you in solving them seamlessly.
Here, we will highlight some important rights and responsibilities for landlords that will aid you in managing your rental properties in an effective manner.
Landlords are given certain rights that can help them maintain a good landlord-tenant relationship. The lease/rental agreement and state laws determine how and when a landlord can exercise such rights. But there are some rights that every landlord is entitled to. And those are –
Being a landlord, you can set whatever tenant screening criteria you want as long as it is not illegal or discriminatory. Before renting out the property, check the credit history of the tenant’s prior rental experiences. Maintain the details like salary and current employment of the tenant. Meet the tenants in person before giving your final approval. It is your right to give your rental property to whomever you want, provided that they meet the decided criteria.
Terms And Conditions Of Tenancy
Except for rent control laws, it is the right of the tenant to set their own set of terms and conditions of the tenancy. For instance – It is in the hands of the landlord to allow or not allow pets or to allow or disallow smoking. The tenants have the obligation to abide by these terms and conditions. If there is any breach of contract from the tenant, they are bound to face the consequences. It is your right that you can terminate their tenancy and evict them.
Charging And Collecting The Rent
Setting up the right amount to charge from your tenants can become quite tricky at times. But here is a suggestion you can use. A rent estimate calculatorcan help you determine the answer to the question, “How much should I charge for rent?”. After that, you can decide on the rent amount. You can charge anything that you believe is appropriate for the market. The rent calculator helps you achieve that appropriate amount. Whenever you decide about the rent increase, inform the tenants at least a full rental period in advance. You can also get in touch with the attorney to gain insights on the rent amount so that you don’t end up in time-consuming problems or litigation with your tenants.
The rights of the landlords also come with specific responsibilities. You can transfer or delegate some of these responsibilities to the tenants. But there are some which you can’t transfer to anyone. It is always advisable to have full information on state and local laws to learn the nuances of the landlord’s responsibilities. Here, we have listed some of them that all landlords must follow –
Safe And Habitable Premises
It is the responsibility of the landlords to ensure that the rental properties should meet the basic standards of livability under the legal doctrine, namely implied warranty of habitability. Provide clean, safe, and habitable apartments to your tenants, meeting the safety standards. Keep the common areas clean from insects, rodents, and other infestations. The structural elements like floors, walls, ceilings, roofs, chimneys, and doors should be rodent-proof and weather-tight to be fit for the humans to live in the rental properties. Maintain the exits and keep them free from trash and snow.
Fair Housing Laws
It is the responsibility of the landlords to abide by all the federal, local, and state laws to steer clear of any issues arising in the future.
Respecting The Privacy Of The Tenants
Once a tenant starts living in the rental property, the landlord cannot enter it unless an emergency situation arises or a certain notice is given, as stated in the state laws on landlord entry. The notice should describe the reason to enter the apartment. Moreover, it is your duty to enter the rental property at reasonable hours, not disturbing the peace and privacy of the tenant.
To Make A Long Story Short
The responsibilities and rights of the landlords vary by state. But some of them are common in all places, which you should highlight in the key legal contract, that is, the lease agreement including all the information like monthly rent, the penalty for not paying the rent on the due date, etc. The above-mentioned rights and responsibilities of the landlords will help you know your duties in an extended manner to avoid future problems in your rental property business.