Landlord Obligation And Duty

Becoming A Landlord: What You Need To Know about Your Rights, Duties and Obligations

There are many duties a person who chooses to rent out home/apartments must undertake including repairing the rental property and ensuring it stays in livable condition. If a landlord must get into the property, he/she must give their tenants timely notice but not in cases of emergencies.

Many landlords get into disputes with their tenants about not fixing the problems inside the rental unit. Landlords should repair any problems with the rental property as soon as they learn about it. All plumbing and heating problems need to be fixed within a day (24 hours) after they hear about the problem.

For other non-emergency problems that will need to be fixed, repairs will need to be done within two days (48 hours). Of course, landlords still need to give their tenants advance notice before they enter the property.

The only time a landlord should enter the premises announced in is case of a fire or floor.

What Are The Duties and Maintenance Of A Landlord

In the majority of states, landlords must ensure that a rental property is in livable conditions when his/her tenant take possession of the property. After the tenant moves into the property, the landlord will need to make continuous repairs and maintenance to ensure the rental property stays livable. This means the property must have working heating, electricity and water, be clean and is structurally sound.

Landlords will need to look at local codes regarding electrical wiring, ventilation and lighting. These laws do differ from each state and even cities. For example: some cities mandate that landlords need smoke detectors in key areas of a home and to check them on a regular basis and replace batteries when called for.

Some states mandate that landlords be aware and protect the safety of their tenants, making sure that there are latches on outside windows, a deadbolt and doorknob that locks on all outside doors, etc. Some states even make it a requirement that locks be changed from one tenant to the next. You may also want to find out if landlord locks out the tenent, what the rights would be for the tenant.

Also there are other responsibilities required as a landlord. You need to watch out tenant criminal activity on rental property, and keep your property as safe as possible. If necessary, get yourself familiar with Criminal Acts and Activities. Since a landlord’s duties can vary so much, it’s important to pay attention to the local codes that regard the rental properties both at the city and state level. You can generally find this information at your local housing authority along with the local fire and health departments.

What Could Be The Outcome Of Problems Not Repaired

If a landlord does not make the needed repairs are a tenant gives them a request, there are several consequences they could face.

1 – A tenant can withhold rent (in certain states) until the repairs are made. Some states understand this can be rather harsh so they may want the tenant to place the rent money in an escrow account that’ll be released after the repairs have been made. Tenants can also elect to pay only some of the rent until repairs are made.

2 – If a landlord has exceeded the timely manner in making repairs, the tenant can hire an outside party to make those repairs. He/she should be responsible in whom they choose to make those repairs but the costs can be deducted from the next rent check.

3 – If the issue is in violation of local or state building/health codes, the tenant can opt to talk with local authorities about the matter. Inspectors will come out and, if they found an issue, the landlord will be ordered to fix the problem and be subjected to fines on top of it.

If you want more rent related legal information, go to Free Legal Forms site, browse and download many free legal forms as in PDF format, including lease agreement and Tenant Lead Disclosure that can be used for landlord and tenants as well.