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Landlord Rights and Responsibilities, Know What The Law Says

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By : marco benavides    99 or more times read
Even though each state has enacted its own legislation and legal statutes, your landlord rights and responsibilities are basically the same everywhere. You are responsible for providing safe and habitable housing for the tenant, and you have the right to receive rent in a timely manner, in return for providing safe and habitable housing. The terms under which you are to receive the rent should be clearly stated in the tenant rental agreement, and you should provide written receipts for rent payments and the security deposits, and keep a copy for yourself.

If you are going to make an inspection of the house or apartment once it is rented, you have to provide 24-hours notice, at a minimum, and do not forget to do so in writing and to keep a copy. You cannot walk into the dwelling, even though it is your property, any time you want, unless there is an actual emergency.

You have the responsibility of keeping yards, stairs, hallways, entrances, and other common areas clean, and providing maintenance for them. Hallways and entrances that are used in common must be well-lit, and they cannot have obstructions that limit the tenant's access to a dwelling.

In addition, you have a duty to provide hot and cold running water throughout the house or apartment, which means the plumbing must be in good working order. You are also responsible for providing heating and electrical wiring that is in good working condition.

If any disputes should arise, and they often do between landlords and tenants, the states have set up landlord-tenant courts to settle disputes. It is of the essence for you to keep accurate records, receipts and copies in case you need to settle any dispute in court.

You have to provide the tenant with written notification if you feel that the terms of the rental agreement have been violated, and do make sure you keep a copy in your records. If the tenant requests maintenance, you should respond in a timely fashion, solve the problem, record the solution, and keep copies and all the receipts of your expenditures in solving the maintenance issue.

You should also do a walkthrough when the tenant moves in, have a detailed checklist, and take pictures; and then do another walkthrough when the tenant leaves and take pictures. If you are going to withhold any money for claimed damages, it must be reasonable, and you should have picture evidence in case there is a dispute.

When you are going to evict a tenant, make sure you do so on legal grounds, and make sure that you comply with your state's notification requirements. Once you have complied with legal notification requirements, you can take further action if the tenant has refused to move out.

If you want to be a successful landlord, you need to know your rights and responsibilities so that you can run a proper and profitable business. As with any other business, you need to be really meticulous about your records, receipts, copies, and so on in order to protect yourself if any tenant/landlord disputes should arise.
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