If you own or manage rental properties, it's crucial that you learn your landlord tenant law. Knowing your responsibilities as a landlord is the only way to ensure that you are able to carry them out. Similarly you will want to understand your tenant's rights so that you won't have them exploiting you unfairly.
What are Your Crucial Landlord Rights and Responsibilities?
While a landlord has a right to receive rental payments on time from the tenant, the landlord has an obligation to maintain his rental property in habitable condition by complying with all relevant housing, building, and health codes. He must also respond to tenant requests for repairs and maintenance within a reasonable time.
In addition, the tenant must be notified at least 24 hours in advance before a landlord can enter the rental property for an acceptable purpose such to collect rent or show the property to a potential buyer. The only exception when the landlord needs to enter the unit in case of an emergency such as a fire outbreak.
At the beginning of the tenancy, the landlord should complete a walk through taking note of the condition of the rental unit.
An accurate accounting of a tenant's security deposit must also be kept according to legal requirements. The deposit has to be returned on move out, unless there is a reason for you to withhold part or all of the deposit due to rent owed or damage beyond normal wear and tear.
If you believe that a tenant is violating the terms of the rental agreement or the landlord tenant law, you must provide written notice to the tenant and keep a copy of the notice for your own records.
If it becomes necessary to evict a tenant, you must follow all laws and ordinances in this process. It is never acceptable for you to lock a tenant out of a unit without following proper procedure even if the tenant is behind on his rental payments.
Finally make sure that you provide important contact information for both routine and urgent purposes. Make sure you provide the name, address, and telephone number of the landlord or rental office.
What are Your Important Tenant Rights and Responsibilities?
When it comes to landlord tenant law, tenants also have a part to play. Rent has to be paid up on time each month and you have to keep rental property clean and tidy. If the rental unit has a private yard, be sure it is clear who is responsible for maintaining it. In general, a landlord must maintain areas that are shared in common with other tenants.
For the occupant's safety, as well as the maintenance of the unit, all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers must be maintained in good repair. The landlord should provide these initially but the tenant may be responsible for changing the batteries and testing the equipment occasionally.
If the landlord must enter the premises, the tenants should be cooperative and allow access, provided the landlord informs him at least 24 hours in advance.
Tenants should also treat their neighbors courteously and avoid excessive noise and disturbances especially at night.
Finally if a tenant is leaving the rental unit for an extended period of time, it's important for him to inform the landlord. There are a number of things that could go wrong in a tenant's absence and the landlord will want to be aware that the unit is unoccupied.
In case of theft or damage to the unit, a landlord is not be responsible for replacing the occupant's belongings. This is why it's a good idea to purchase renter's insurance.
Fortunately, many disputes can be avoided as long as both parties have a clear understanding of landlord tenant law. Start off on your tenancy on the right foot with a clear rental agreement and a solid understanding of the law.
Teo Zhenjie has been showing landlords how to manage their tenants and rental property effectively on Propertydo http://www.propertydo.com/ - To learn more important tips on landlord tenant law, visit his website today for step-by-step real estate guides, free resources and forms.
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