“Basic Guide On Landlord Rights And Responsibilities” written by Mike Marko
Are you new to the rental property business and want to know more about the landlord rights and responsibilities?
Renting out your property(s) can be profitable once you’re knowledgeable about managing the business. But, to be successful in this business, you have to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a landlord. Knowing your rights and responsibilities will make you an efficient and a good landlord.
So without further adieu, let’s dive into talk about the basic landlord rights and responsibilities.
Know The Basic Landlord Rights And Responsibilities
When you go into the property management business there are certain behaviors you need to develop to make your business grow and become successful. The first and most important thing you should develop and be an expert on is getting to know the different landlord rights and responsibilities that will take your business to the next level of success.
When you master landlord rights and responsibilities you will understand and follow the best methods and practices on how you should run your rental property business. Knowing your rights and responsibilities as a property manager or landlord will give you an idea of what to do when some instances happen along the way while you are managing your property.
In the following sections, we will discuss the basic landlord rights and responsibilities that you should take note of and begin to master.
1. Run A Background Screening To Choose Good Tenants.
Having a successful property management company starts with finding the best and most qualified tenant to rent your properties. As the property manager, you need to develop a background screening system or process that allows you to completely screen a tenant before accepting them for rental of your properties. Developing a complete and precise background screening process will help you to be successful in your rental property business. It is your responsibility to get to know a potential tenant first before accepting that person to rent out your property and a comprehensive tenant screening process will allow you to accomplish this goal.
In doing the tenant background screening you should be able to determine if the tenant you will choose to rent the property to is capable of paying monthly rental dues and is someone who can be responsible for taking care of the rental unit. When screening your tenants you get to know about their backgrounds such as employment status, previous rental history, family size, and other factors that help you determine if you want to rent the property to them.
Once you have completed the tenant screening process and have chosen the most qualified tenants for your rental units it’s also your responsibility under landlord rights to inform them about the terms of damage and repair. As a landlord, you are responsible for fixing any damage that may occur on your property so that the property will remain habitable for your current and future tenants. Using the rental agreement or contract is the best place to detail responsibilities for anything that could happen or arise while the tenant is renting the unit.
If you want to know more about how to develop a process to screen tenants, visit Essential Tips About Tenant Screening For Property Managers.
2. Be Kind And Compassionate To Your Tenants.
To be successful in running your rental property business you should also be compassionate and kind to your tenants. One of your responsibilities as a landlord is to be attentive to your tenant’s needs and concerns. Whenever they need help regarding the rental unit it is your responsibility as a landlord to be there to provide them with solutions.
Unfortunately, life has its ups and downs. It’s inevitable for everyone to encounter setbacks like losing a job or changing careers. When you have an excellent tenant that has always paid rents on time, and they suffer a setback in life, you should also be considerate and work to resolve the issues when tenants face setbacks that may result in delays in their payment. If your tenant is consistent in paying rental fees on time and ask an extension for payment deadline one time then it’s reasonable to give them the extension.
Being a compassionate as a landlord will help you to retain good tenants on your rental property business.
3. Give Your Tenants Their Privacy.
When someone rents a unit it is your right as a landlord to enter the unit to check on damages or repairs. Even though this is a right you should be cautious and make sure you have the approval to enter the unit from the tenant prior to exercising this right. Even if you have the right to enter your property once the tenants move in you should keep a distance from your tenants to give them privacy. Tenants will not enjoy living the rental units if there will be someone who will keep on disturbing them or interfering with their daily activities.
Keep in mind that everyone wants to keep their privacy.
When you need to run inspections on the property, just give the tenants an early notice to let them know that you will visit the property. That way, your tenants will not feel that you’re invading their privacy.
If tenants are on friendly terms with you, it’s ok but you should always keep in mind your limits as a landlord.
4. Keep Your Tenants Safe.
As the property manager, you must keep your property in good condition. This helps to avoid or minimize liabilities for tenant’s injuries caused by unrepaired properties. Your tenants can sue you if they suffer an injury inside your property. The common possible causes of injuries are unrepaired damages to your property and malfunctioning equipment.
It is advisable to check and repair your rental units at least 4 times a year and as much as possible. Take action to the damages that need to be repaired immediately. When a tenant requested for a repair, do it within 24 hours but never forget to inform them that the repairs will be made in their rented property.
5. Seek Help.
Always seek help from an expert whenever there is a broken sink, pipes, creaky doors, or protruding electric cables in your property. As the landlord, you should always have trusted technician, plumber, or electrician on call whenever a repair is needed to be done on your property.
For instances like this, it is advisable to keep the repairman’s contact information so you can call them or contact them immediately. An immediate action to repairs will improve your business’s reputation. Keep your rental properties habitable and don’t let your tenant’s complaints become the reason why your business fails.
6. Exercise Your Rights As A Landlord.
Listed below are the rights you have when a tenant moves in when it comes to the profitability of the rental property:
- You can collect a rent deposit: When you and the tenant sign the lease or tenancy agreement, you may collect a rent deposit. In many areas, the maximum amount of this deposit is the same as the rent for 1 rental period (for example, 1 month or 1 week).
- Collection of Rent: You are entitled to collect rent, in full, on the day that it is due.
- Entry to the Rental Unit: You may enter the rental home in order to complete maintenance or repairs, to show the unit to a potential tenant, or in an emergency. However, you must follow certain entry guidelines such as 24 hours notice.
- An Increase of Rent: You can increase the rent once in a 12-month period. However, you must be family with and follow the rent increase guidelines of your area.
- Eviction of Tenants: In some situations, you can evict a tenant. If you give your tenant(s) a notice that you want them to leave, and they do not agree, you have the right to file an application and have a hearing with the Landlord and Tenant Board.
7. Run A Final Walk-through Inspection.
A final walkthrough inspection happens before a tenant moves out of the rented property. This inspection is required to ensure that no serious damages or illegal alterations were done to the rented unit.
As the property manager, you should seek for any damages outside of normal wear and tear. Any changes that are not in the rental agreement are considered as red flags. Make sure you compare the condition of the property after and before the tenant moves in.
The exact time of this inspection may vary depending on the state laws. Usually, the final walkthrough inspection occurs on the date when the tenant is about to move out of the unit. But in some states, this inspection is done three days after the tenant moves out. The inspection after the tenant moves out ensures the property manager that there are no concealed damages done to the property.
8. Return Security Deposit.
Commonly, the amount of the security deposit cannot be more than one month’s rent (though there are exceptions based on your area). This deposit is the money paid by tenants to a property manager that should be held in a separate account.
The security deposit can be used by the property manager if:
o the tenant fails to pay rent
o the tenant owes money for fees or utilities
o the tenant causes any damages to the rental unit
When the tenant moves out of the property, the property manager has 10 days (or more depending on the area) to send a statement of account to the tenant. That basically means that the property manager must have the statement postdated within that time period. It doesn’t mean that the statement must be delivered and received. However, this law may vary depending on the state where you are living.
The statement of account should contain information about the original security deposit amount, any interest that was paid, the reason for and amount of any deductions, and the amount of the security deposit that will be returned to the tenant.
Additional deductions can be added also within the allowed time period. In some areas, an estimated statement of account can be delivered in this period while the final statement of account has 30 days extension.
Final Thoughts On Landlord Rights And Responsibilities
If you know the different landlord rights and responsibilities, you can effectively manage your rental property business. And whenever there are incidents, you’ll be able to take the appropriate action because you are knowledgeable of your rights and responsibilities as a landlord.
Having knowledge about your rights and responsibilities will help you to become an efficient landlord in managing your rental property business. It will also help you in being a good landlord to your tenants.
All this will have an impact on the profitability of your property management business.
Please feel free to comment below with your thoughts or questions.
1. Knowing Your Tenants Rights
2. How To Create A Simple Lease Agreement
3. Why A Rental Credit Check Is Important For Your Success
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