A Quick Guide to Your Landlord Rights and Obligations

landlord rights

Are you one of the 10 to 11 million investor landlords in the United States? Thumbs up!

However, being a landlord is not an easy venture. Dealing with difficult tenants, repairs, maintenance, and possible legal battles can cause anyone to give up being a landlord.

Understanding the landlord rights and obligations will make the job easier. Being prepared and knowing what to expect can erase half the headaches of the job. 

Use this quick guide to make sure you are protected from bigger problems later.

Screening Applicants

You have every right to screen the people who want to live in your rental property. Since there is no probationary period with renting, you want to make sure you have great tenants.

Looking for a great property is tough, and looking for good tenants can be tougher. Some of the things you can screen are their references, background check, credit score, and proof of employment.

Use this information to obtain a tenant you know will be a steady renter with no problems. The fewer turnover you have, the more money you save.

Entering Units

Landlords have every right to enter units, but not without notice. Most states require a minimum 24-hour notice before entering. 

If you want to curry favor with your tenants, give them more than 24 hours before you enter. While state law may require a certain amount of time, the lease you provide may state a few days or even a week.

In the event of a fire or medical emergency, you do not need any notice to remedy a situation.

Security Deposits

Every landlord has the right to collect a security deposit that’s equal to one month’s rent from a tenant. This deposit is used to clean messy apartments after a tenant has left. It can also be used to pay utility bills the tenant forgot when they moved.

If a tenant leaves the apartment the way they got it and there are no outstanding bills, it’s your obligation to return the money to the renter.

In fact, if you plan to use any of the deposit from the tenant, you need to have a good reason. Failure to outline the reasons in writing could result in a lawsuit.

Prolonged Absences

A landlord has every right to go on vacation or take a leave of absence. All the landlord has to do is appoint a property agent. 

This agent will be acting on your behalf and collecting rent. They should also be knowledgeable of the rules and expectations of being a landlord. If they do something wrong, it could come back on you during court.

Each state will have different laws regarding prolonged absences. A good idea is to ask another landlord to cover for you. In return, you can pay him a small fee or cover for them when they leave.

Be Familiar With Landlord Rights and Responsibilities

Being a great landlord means you are protecting yourself and your tenants. Knowing landlord rights and obligations will help you fulfill the role and make your investment profitable.

This quick guide can be the difference between having a successful rental investment and running for the exit as fast as you can.

If you’re interested in learning more about property management, keep reading our blog!