Legal Insights for Landlords and Property Managers


Legal Insights for Landlords and Property Managers

Managing rental properties is full of challenges. It becomes all the more daunting in between managing the tenant relationships, learning about landlord-tenant laws, property maintenance, and other financial tasks. 


You don’t want to stuck into the loop of any penalties or lawsuit as a landlord. Thus, you must know the legal complexities of owning rental properties. With the right knowledge, legal insights, and using the innovative technology like a finance management software, you can not only protect your interests but also foster a harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship with your tenants. Here, we have come up with the essential legal principles and best practices that every landlord and property manager should know. Let’s get started. 


Required disclosures

If you are in the rental property business, it is mandatory to give all the necessary information to your tenants. Required disclosures include details about state laws, individual landlord policies, regulations about rent control, or any unique characteristic that your rental property might be having. It is legally mandatory to share these pieces of information, as failing to do so can lead to legal repercussions. 


Additionally, disclose the information about landlord practices like lease governing rules, guest policies or early termination fees. Sharing such information openly impacts the decision of the tenants to rent your property. Include everything related to the disclosure in the lease agreement so that you have a written record. All in all, it enhances the legal solidarity of the disclosure. 


Right to choose a tenant

Property managers and landlords have the right to choose their tenants. However, it is stated in the state and federal laws not to discriminate against tenants on the basis of religion, color, race, gender, disability, national origin, or familial status. Discriminating the clients on the basis of the mentioned protective categories is illegal for a landlord as per the Fair Housing Act of 1968. 


Besides, these protections are applicable to all aspects of the landlord-tenant laws. For example – a landlord should refrain from advertising a property with rental statement showing a preference based on the protective categories. Thus, it is advisable to know the ins and outs of the federal housing laws and regulations of your state to avoid any violation of landlord-tenant laws. 

Right to furnish the rental property 

Landlords can renovate, furnish, or decorate the rental property as they feel like. Property owners have the right to decide the type of flooring, paint, appliances, and fixtures their tenants might need in a home. If the landlord decides to rent a furnished property, he can choose the furniture.


Also, a furnished property will typically have a high rental rate and a higher security deposit amount than an unfurnished property. Talking about the rental amount, you must track that the tenant pays their rent on time to avoid any burden of collecting the late fees. You can use an automated software for the same. It sends automated reminders to the tenants about their due date of payments so that they can pay you on time to ensure the seamless handling of the properties.  


Repair and maintenance

When a tenant tells you about any problem related to the property, it is your legal obligation to provide a solution for that as soon as possible. Issues like leaky roofs or faulty electrical sockets can hamper the daily quality of living and even pose safety risks for them. Thus, it is your responsibility to solve their repair and maintenance-related problems promptly. 


Your lease agreement should clearly outline the commitment to effective action in terms of repairs and maintenance-related issues to keep the ambiguity of your responsibilities as a landlord at bay. It is believed that if you take prompt action, your tenants see you as a caring property manager. On the other hand, neglecting the issues of your tenants can hamper your relationship with them and can even result in legal disputes or financial penalties.


Right to privacy  

Privacy is a fundamental right not only for the tenants but also for everyone. As a landlord, respect the boundaries of your tenants to maintain a harmonious relationship with them and also adhere to the laws. Don’t enter the rental unit without giving adequate notice to your tenants except in emergency situations like gas leak or fires or any other legitimate reason. 


When giving the notice to the tenants for entering the property, specify the reason for your visit. If you don’t do that, you may have to bear the consequence of potential fines or a lawsuit. 


To make a long story short 

Becoming a landlord requires you to be aware about understanding of the laws as mentioned above. The laws vary from state to state. But as long as you respect your tenants and their space, and tenants pay their rent on time, you won’t have to consult local statues or receive any complaints from them. Ultimately, the key to thriving in the world of real estate lies in your ability to confidently navigate the legal complexities while maintaining a steadfast commitment to professionalism and ethical practices.