What Are Your Obligations as a Landlord?

Two adult men standing at doorway with keys and contract

What Are Your Obligations as a Landlord?

As a landlord, your role is not only to receive the check at the end of the month. Your tenants are not just your milking cow. You have a responsibility both to the tenants and to the property. Make sure that the rental property is well-maintained. There are no leaks in the plumbing, the HVAC is working properly, and the Internet lines are secure. There are also no potholes and cracks in the parking lot.

You can hire a property management company to take care of these things for you. But as a landlord, wouldn’t you want to know what repairs and replacements are needed in your property? Even if there is someone tasked to collect the rent, penalize late payers, and file your taxes, you should still keep an eye on this side of the business. After all, if leasing is a huge source of income for you, this is going to be your retirement fund in the future.

Contracts

A tenant and a landlord must execute a contract that will govern all the rules and regulations of their relationship. This contract should be under federal and state laws. If you are the landlord, you are obligated to have this contract notarized and booked with your lawyer. The contract will stipulate, among others, the leasing terms, the maintenance obligations of the landlord, and the cancellation of the rent.

Repairs and Replacements

HVAC technician charging a heat pump with refrigerantA landlord is obligated to fix the property under the signed contract. There should be no leaks from the ceiling or the faucet. The heater and the air-conditioning unit should be working well. The parking lot should be well-paved. The security cameras should be in good working condition. If any of these amenities fail to meet the expectations of the tenants, they can withhold rent until you fix what you are obligated to. The only damage that a tenant is responsible for is the one they have made themselves. This usually occurs inside the house or the commercial property unit.

Point Person

The landlord should tell the tenant whom to contact and how to contact that person for any maintenance requests and other concerns. It could be the landlord directly or the property manager. The tenant has the right to know whom he needs to talk to in case some issues arose in the property. If the landlord is going to be away for a time, they must tell the tenants how best to contact them.

Rent Collection

How will the rent be collected? Will it be paid through checks or cash? When will the rent be collected? The landlord must explain the lease requirements of the property, financial-wise. If there are an advance payment and deposit required, the landlord must explain what this money is for. The landlord must also provide a receipt to the tenant for any of their financial transactions. In case the tenant decides not to renew the lease contract anymore, the landlord needs to return the deposit, provided that it hasn’t been used or there are no tenant-related damages to the property.

Before renting out a property, check the federal and state laws so that you won’t need to face legal consequences in the future. You can also consult a lawyer and have them draft an iron-clad contract that will protect your rights as a landlord. These and many other things will ensure the smooth transaction between a landlord and a tenant.

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