When you first become a property owner, you’re excited about the new found possibilities that open up to you, about the earnings you’ll be making and the large investment you’ve made to save for your future. But with this new potential comes large responsibilities. Landlords are subject to laws a regulations put in place to protect tenants and properties.
It’s very important that before you get in over your head, for you to research thoroughly your rights and responsibilities to your property and tenant. Experienced property developer Tim Manning describes the best factors to consider before becoming a landlord and undertaking this responsibility.
It’s the landlord’s responsibility to rent the property in a safe and maintained condition. If any issues arise on the property, these need to be fixed as soon as possible. When your tenants report problems to you about the property, you must take their requests seriously and perform the appropriate tasks. If action is not taken this could certainly become a liability issue.
It’s your decision whether you agree to let pets live in the property. You need to make this clear from the very beginning and supply reasonable conversation around the importance of caring for your property. If you allow animals on the premises you could be opening yourself up o accidental damage, insurance issues and even harm to individuals if the dog acts out. You will end up being liable for all of these things.
In certain cases, if your tenant undertakes criminal activity on your property you may be help personally accountable. This can be incredibly devastating for many home owners as it can generate a bad reputation even though you have not done anything yourself. This situation can be avoiding through a comprehensive background check of tenants before they move in and also through continual monitoring of the property through regulatory inspections.
It’s a legal requirement of landlords to never discriminate against tenants due to their race, religion, age, disability or family situation. To help with this you should employ a tenancy application list that details your requirements from tenants and make this very obvious. A potential tenant can make claims for discrimination if they believe they’ve been treated unfairly in your decision. When you have the proper details that decide why you would choose a tenant you can show the proper reasons for denials and vice versa.
Your tenants should feel safe inside of their apartment. This means you should ensure all doors and windows are properly secured and have appropriate working locks. All front doors should, at the very least, have a deadbolt lock.
You should also make sure no one else has a key to the tenant’s apartment. You should always change the locks once a prior tenant moves out and before a new one moves in. If you are going to give keys to realtors to show your vacancies, make sure to use a generic lock and then replace the lock prior to your tenant moving in.
You should not allow unsupervised repairmen inside a tenant’s apartment as this could lead to claims of robbery. You should make sure you have followed all safety codes such as installing working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Tenants should feel safe outside of the building as well. Make sure any outdoor areas are well lit and free from hazards, such as a broken step or unstable handrail.