In most of the times, tenants have cordial relationships with their property owners although when the relationship is awry, tenants may not get the best services. In the United States, states and the federal government has set out rules and regulations that are supposed to protect tenants through the specifications of property owner obligations. It is essential for every lessee to familiarize themselves with the landlord obligations to ensure that they get value for their money.
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What are the Laws and Regulations that Regulate Property Letting?
The Fair Housing Act
The act seeks to prevent any form of discrimination in the provision of housing by property developers. It states that property owner cannot refuse to let a property to an individual on the grounds of race, religion, familial status, sexual orientation, gender, nationality, or disability.
State and Federal Laws
Specific states have enacted various laws and policies that seek to protect tenants from unfair industry practices. You can refer to specific state laws to identify landlord obligations in your city or town of residence. For instance, some states have enacted rent control laws while some, like California, have not. Such states allow for local rent controls.
What are the Obligations of Landlords?
To provide and maintain a safe environment
The federal laws and state laws require property owners to provide a safe environment for their tenants. Property owners have the responsibility to ensure that their rental properties are a secure place for tenants to live. The property ought to have functional doors, windows, and locks for the security of tenants and their properties. The landlord should have the front doors of their houses fixed with deadbolt locks at the least.
The property owner should also ensure that keys to a tenant’s apartment are not accessible to unauthorized people. It is also in the landlord obligations to not allow unsupervised repair personnel to houses. Repair personnel should be supervised by either the tenant or the landlord’s agent to ensure they do not compromise security.
To maintain a clean environment
The cleanliness of a rental property appeals to tenants and protects them from diseases. Tenants have the responsibility to clean the apartments they live in, but require to maintain the general cleanliness of the rental property is among the landlord obligations. A property owner has the responsibility of ensuring trash is collected either personally or through the contraction of a superintendent.
It is also the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that shared facilities within your rental property are clean and have a proper lighting system. In case a tenant notices bedbugs, rodents, roaches, or other small insects that infest your property, it is your responsibility to seek professional services to clean the mess.
To carry out repairs at the request of a tenant
A tenant pays rent so that he or she can live in your property. It is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that they respond quickly and decisively to repair request of tenants. Depending on the nature of the repairs required, proprietors should determine if they are urgent or they can be executed a few days later. For instance, a broken door lock needs immediate repair to protect the properties of the tenant while other repairs such as broken cabinet doors may not require immediate action. It is essential to point out that in some instances, immediate repairs might reduce associated charges that may accompany delayed repairs.
To advise tenants to acquire renters insurance
Insurance policies that target rental properties mostly cover the owner’s property and not the tenants’ personal property. Property owners should ensure that tenants understand they are not covered and persuade them to purchase renters insurance. Renters insurance may provide a special cover against issues such as injuries caused by visitors inside a rented apartment.
To store security deposits
It’s standard practice that tenants pay security deposits before occupying rental properties. The proprietor has the responsibility to keep the security deposits safe so that the tenants can access them if they decide to move out of their apartments.
To screen potential tenants
There are steps you should take to be a reliable rental provider. The most important of the steps is tenant screening that you must undertake before you allow an individual to live in your property. Tenant screening is important because it allows a landlord to know the reasons that forced a tenant to leave their previous residence. When carrying out tenant screening, you should assess rent payment history, criminal record, eviction history, and the applicant’s credit report. Adopting proper tenant screening practices helps property owners to accept individuals they consider good tenants. Good tenants will ensure that your property investment becomes profitable.
To specify the right to entry terms
The state laws regulate the circumstances under which a landlord can access the rented property. A proprietor should ensure that terms of entry into a property comply with the state laws on property entry. The proprietor has the obligation of ensuring that their tenants understand the specific terms of entry into the rented property before they move into his or her apartments.
To define the terms of lease
Terms of lease or rent specify the duration after which tenants should remit their fees. Most rental properties are paid for on a monthly basis although some property owners provide long-term lease that may be on a yearly basis. Different states have put laws that govern the terms of leases, and the owner has the obligation of informing tenants his or her rent terms.