As a landlord, certain legal obligations and guidelines must be adhered to when managing a property. This is to ensure the safety and well-being of both tenants and the landlord. When it comes to renting out a property, there are certain things a landlord simply can not do.
This post will provide an overview of the restrictions placed on landlords to help you ensure that you are operating within the bounds of the law. Knowing what these are can help prevent landlord-tenant disputes.
It is illegal for a landlord to discriminate against a tenant based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or disability. This means the landlord is not allowed to deny the rental of a property to a tenant based on any of these criteria. Landlords should also be sure not to apply different rental policies or rules to different tenants, as this can be seen as a form of discrimination.
Landlords cannot retaliate against tenants for exercising their legal rights. This includes a tenant filing a complaint against the landlord or a tenant joining a tenant’s union or other tenant organization. A landlord must also not retaliate against a tenant by increasing rent, decreasing services, or evicting a tenant. These types of actions are illegal and can result in serious legal consequences.
No one should enter a person’s home without their consent, and landlords are no exception. Generally, they need to give notice at least 24 hours in advance. The tenant also has the right to deny access to the unit if the notice is not given or if the landlord does not have a legitimate reason for entering the unit. Note that the landlord is not allowed to enter the tenant’s unit without their permission, even if the tenant is behind on their rent.
Harassment of a tenant by a landlord is illegal and can include verbal or physical abuse, unwanted sexual advances, or threatening behavior. A landlord is also not allowed to take any action that could be seen as harassment, such as cutting off utilities or threatening to evict the tenant.
Violation of Privacy
A landlord must respect a tenant’s right to privacy. This means the landlord is not allowed to enter a tenant’s unit without permission, listen in on conversations, or look through a tenant’s belongings. A landlord must also not disclose personal information about a tenant to anyone without the tenant’s permission.
Raise Rent Without Notice
Raising rent without notice is not permitted. The amount of notice needed depends on the state, but it is typically 30 days before the rent increase takes effect. Landlords must also provide a written notice to tenants before raising the rent. This notice should include the amount of the rent increase, the date it takes effect, and the reasons for the increase.
Refuse to Make Repairs
Landlords cannot refuse to make repairs that are necessary to keep the unit habitable. This includes plumbing, electrical, heating systems, and other necessary repairs. Landlords must respond to repair requests in a timely manner and make all necessary repairs as soon as possible.
Landlords are legally required to maintain their rental property in a safe and habitable condition. This includes ensuring the property is free from pests, rodents, and other hazardous conditions. Landlords are also required to make any necessary repairs in a timely manner, and to comply with any applicable building codes.
Access to Records
Landlords are not allowed to withhold any records related to the rental property, such as maintenance records, receipts, or other information. Tenants have the right to access these records at any time, and landlords are legally required to provide them upon request.
Understanding the legal obligations and guidelines of being a landlord is essential for landlords. This includes knowing the rights of tenants and what a landlord can not do when it comes to managing a property. By following these rules, landlords can ensure the safety and well-being of their tenants and avoid any potential legal consequences.
How can property managers help
Property managers can significantly assist in this regard, as their knowledge of landlord/tenant laws and their responsibility for administering the terms of tenancy agreements can help landlords remain compliant and avoid legal repercussions.
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