Disputes on residential and commercial properties can arise at any time. However, in the case of rental properties, there are laws to protect the rights of both landlord and tenant. These laws also maintain the landlord-tenant relationship.
Tenants and landlords have to comply with local, federal, and state regulations to avoid complications. At the federal level, the Fair Housing Act prevents discrimination on the grounds of disability, color, and race. Similarly, every state in the USA has different landlord-tenant laws. For instance, as a property owner in Arizona, you need to know the Arizona landlord tenant act from your lawyer.
1. Rental laws regarding security deposit
While making the lease agreement, you have to know the security deposit laws. Landlords have to focus on the state and local laws before claiming the security deposits. The laws dictate-
- How much amount you can collect as the security deposit
- What you can do with the deposit
- The need to return the money
Moreover, landlords have the responsibility of creating a list of deductions from the deposit. The tenant will learn how they have used the money.
2. Laws for maintaining a safe environment
The rental house for tenants should have a habitable and safe environment. Thus, landlords have to check the rental unit regularly to prevent potential safety hazards. According to landlord-tenant laws, appliances must be in working order. The heating, plumbing, and lighting systems should be in proper condition. The rental house must also be free from pests and insects.
But, tenants also have some maintenance responsibilities, and the lease agreement needs to mention them clearly. However, during the move-in and throughout the tenancy period, landlords have major liabilities for property maintenance.
3. Legal rules for property repairs
The rental agreement must state that tenants have the right to report damages to the property. The landlord has to engage professionals to repair it on time. When the landlord does not respond to the request, and the damage causes safety hazards, it can result in legal complications. For instance, a broken heater on chilly days can affect the tenant’s health.
Moreover, the tenant can withhold rent money when the landlord has not made the requested repair works.
4. Laws and regulations about disclosures
According to some state laws, landlords have to provide legal disclosures to tenants before their move-in. You may consult lawyers to create disclosures, as they have to mention landlord policies regarding the rental unit.
But, there may be variations in the laws on what you must disclose to your tenant. Most commonly, the disclosures are related to-
- Sex offenders
- Recent deaths
- Lead-based paint
- Mold issues
- Meth contamination
- Other risks
5. Laws on lease documents
The landlord has the duty to provide a lease agreement and legal paperwork. Moreover, he is responsible for making a legally written legal contract. The contract has to indicate the tenant names, monthly rental charge, and leasing periods.
Check the state-level and local laws before dealing with these documents. In some cases, it is essential to provide more details in the document. You can consult your lawyer to make the right decision.
6. Landlord-tenant privacy laws
Tenants have the right to claim privacy. Thus, as a landlord, you must ensure that no one has disturbed the tenant during their tenancy. Moreover, when the tenant has moved into your rental house, you must not interfere with them.
That is why you have to send a clear notice to your tenant in case of the property inspection. When you need to enter the house, you must have a strong reason. It is safe to choose a reasonable time to enter your rental unit.
7. Landlord-tenant laws regarding criminal activities
As a property owner, you have to be careful about criminal activities happening inside the house. You must inform the local authority without any delay. For instance, illegal activities may be related to domestic violence and drug use. To avoid further legal issues, you need to report them at the right time.
Also read, Landlord Tenant Laws
8. Abandoned items of tenants- rental property laws
A tenant has vacated your property but has left behind some items. In this situation, these items will become abandoned property for landlords.
You can send a notice to your tenant and inform him about the way of claiming the property. You must also say about the timeframe within which the tenant can claim the item. In case of the unclaimed property, you can sell it to the public.
9. Discrimination Laws
We have already mentioned the rules against discrimination laws. These laws protect landlords and tenants from any discriminatory issues. For instance, while screening your tenants advertising your rental units, you must be compliant with Fair Housing laws.
Your processes and actions must be applied to every tenant. They must not refer to a particular group. Avoid involving yourself in the discrimination, as you need to pay more than $50,000, including the court fees and lawyer charges. Make sure that you have not treated any tenant unfairly for race, creed, religion, and national origin.
10. Eviction-related laws
The landlord can take legal actions like eviction to remove the tenant. It happens when the tenant cannot pay the rent every month. Moreover, the landlord can do it when the tenant has damaged the property. These damages can affect the property value, and thus, you have the right to evict your tenant. However, before filing the lawsuit, you need to send a termination notice to your tenant. Every state has set different guidelines regarding it. You need to know them to protect your rights.
There are also laws for ensuring safety in the rental unit. The landlord must be concerned about the safety of his tenants. It is his responsibility to install smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, CO detectors, and several other features. That is why you can check state-level landlord-tenant laws to keep your rental house secure for everyone.
Look for a lawyer to resolve conflicts that have arisen out of your landlord-tenant agreement. He will also help you to win the lawsuit.