Here are a few legal considerations for self managing landlords. Being a self-managing landlord can definitely be challenging. Whether you are already a landlord or thinking of purchasing your first rental property, we at RentalHouse encourage you to think about these legal considerations for self managing landlords.
A competent landlord needs to be familiar with all rental property state and local laws. These laws most often pertain to tenant’s and owner’s rights and responsibilities. Not knowing the laws can be a liability.
For example, when leasing a property, a landlord must know how to make decisions in a way that will not be perceived as discriminatory. The landlord needs to give a new tenant all legally required disclosures and a comprehensive lease, communicating clear expectations of the tenant, without being one-sided. A poorly written lease is going to be difficult to enforce.
There are many things a landlord needs to be aware of during the course of a tenancy, including, when the landlord can enter a unit, what kind of notice needs to be given to the tenant, when the notice needs to be given, in what manner the notice needs to be given, as well as responsibilities regarding repairs.
Also, when the lease nears the end of its term, the landlord needs to know how to either renew the lease or end the tenancy, as well as the landlord’s rights and responsibilities in returning security deposits to a tenant. These are just a few of a landlord’s responsibilities, and the list goes on and on
Generally speaking, no one law is particularly complicated, but adhering to all federal, state, county, and city-specific laws, including rent-control laws, in entirety, can be overwhelming for a landlord. Nothing can fall through the cracks. Another challenge is that legally ambiguous situations often arise. This is when a landlord needs to think like a judge and act accordingly, asking themselves, “How would a judge perceive my actions if my tenant takes this issue to court?”
Now, clearly you do not need to be an attorney to be a landlord, but you do need a working knowledge of the laws and parameters you are working within. Here at RentalHouse Property Management we help our clients navigate through these challenges or completely carry this burden for our clients. Contact us today to see how we can serve you!