Let’s face it: owning real estate or a rental property is like navigating a minefield. You must double-check federal and state regulations at all times to ensure you do not transgress boundaries on your land. The different housing laws in place always prioritize the interests of renters over those of landlords.
As a result, landlords may appear to have few, if any, rights. On the other hand, specific landlord-tenant legislation protects a landlord’s rights. This post will go over some of these rights and how they safeguard your interests as a landlord.
To begin, one critical point must be addressed: How did landlord-tenant rules alter in favor of renters rather than the landlord, who has invested a significant amount of money in a house or apartment?
Reasons for Housing Law Reform
Changes in housing law legislation stemmed from an increasing concern for tenants’ well-being. Unfortunately, this was mostly owing to previous unfair treatment of tenants. The term slumlord began to refer to a landlord who strove to maximize profit while failing to maintain the property. As a result, the government set out to protect tenants’ interests by implementing rent control legislation to protect them from abusive landlords.
Furthermore, tenants are migratory in modern times, frequently migrating from city to city and region to region to meet their demands. As a result, previous tenancy agreement laws may no longer be relevant or feasible. Tenants, for example, used to repair and remodel rented apartments. This was usually because they stayed in those regions for a longer period of time than they do presently.
The implied warranty provision states that rental units must be “fit for purpose.” This indicates that the property is up to code and suitable for human living. Landlords are responsible for heating, hot water, trash disposal, and plumbing. Of course, once a renter comes in, they are responsible for maintaining the property. However, landlords are still responsible for ensuring that necessary maintenance and repairs are carried out.
As a result, any damage caused by the tenant is entirely their fault. Either the renter repairs the damage, the cost is deducted from their security deposit, or the tenant violates the lease.
What Are My Landlord Rights?
Landlords have rights, even if they appear to be the bare minimum at times. Let us go over some of these rights in more detail.
- The authority to instruct a tenant on how to keep the house clean.
A landlord has the authority to ensure that the rented unit is clean. A landlord has the right to ask renters to collect garbage on a regular basis, clean pet waste, and keep unsanitary conditions from attracting bugs and vermin. This is why a cleanliness clause in the rental agreement is a smart idea.
Of course, it is not a landlord’s responsibility to specify how frequently the carpets should be vacuumed or the bathtub cleaned. However, you have the authority to urge a tenant to keep the dwelling clean.
- Landlord rights in the event that a tenant destroys property
You have the right as a landlord to check the property if you fear a renter is ruining it. Of course, you must provide adequate notice in accordance with state legislation. You can document and photograph the evidence during a comprehensive inspection. You can then decide on the best course of action.
Property destruction is a lease agreement violation. As a result, you have the legal authority to initiate an eviction proceeding. This entails writing a “cure or quit” notice to the overdue tenant. You can file for eviction if the tenant has not remedied the damage within a reasonable time. You have the authority to withhold a portion of the security deposit after the tenant vacates the property to pay for repairs.
- The authority to screen tenants
Before signing lease agreements with possible tenants, the landlord maintains the right to screen them. The landlord checks the character of the prospective renter during screening. They will next determine whether or not to sign the rental agreement.
However, discriminating factors cannot be used to make a decision. As a result, it is critical to check what the Fair Housing Act says regarding discriminating against any tenant seeking housing.
A landlord has the authority to evaluate potential renters using the following criteria:
- A physical interview or meeting to assess the eligibility of the prospective tenant.
- Verify their identification.
- Examine their credit history and score.
- Obtain recommendations from former landlords and jobs.
- Check to see if they have a criminal past. However, state laws may make this check illegal.
- Possession of the right to collect rent and security deposits.
The landlord has the authority to determine the rental rate and security deposit. State rules, however, may limit the amount of security deposit you can charge.
The tenant must pay the security deposit and one month’s rent in advance when signing the rental agreement. In this scenario, rent refers to all of the fees listed in the lease agreement. These fees include utility bills (if specified), property taxes, and pet fees.
Landlords are permitted by state law to request a security deposit. This money serves as insurance against damage or nonpayment of rent. The landlord can use the security deposit to cover the costs of repairing damage caused by a renter.
A landlord, on the other hand, is normally required to restore the security deposit to the tenant at the end of the lease arrangement.
- Tenant eviction rights for lease violations
While using the landlord’s property, tenants have obligations to the landlord. They are as follows:
Rent obligation: Rent in this context refers to all kinds of payment specified in the lease agreement. As a result, the tenant must pay these costs as they become due. Nonpayment of rent constitutes a lease breach.
Not modifying the structure of the property: The renter may only modify the property if the lease agreement authorizes it. For example, they may repaint walls and install bookcases if the lease allows them. However, increasing the size of a room by removing walls or other structural changes is not permitted. A tenant must also not cause any damage to the property.
Illegal activities: A tenant may not utilize the property for illegal purposes.
Any violation of these regulations, or failure to comply with them, gives landlords the authority to serve an eviction notice with the words “cure or quit.”
Assume a tenant fails to pay his or her rent. In that instance, the landlord has the authority to initiate the eviction process. This would include demonstrating to a judge that the renter is in breach of the lease agreement. If the renter fails to pay the rent in full within the stated time frame, they may be evicted.
- Property access rights
Even after renting out their home, landlords have access to it. The essential element is that they must give the renters advance notice before arriving. Most states in the United States need a 24-hour notice, with some requiring even more. If the landlord violates this condition, the renters may claim for invasion of privacy.
However, in an emergency, the landlord may enter without notice to protect his property from loss.
- The right to conduct a “moving-out” inspection
When a tenant notifies the landlord of their intention to depart, the landlord has the right to inspect the property. When they receive the warning, they can check the property for any damage beyond normal “wear and tear.”
Regular “wear and tear” refers to little damage to the property caused by normal use. It does not, however, cover catastrophic damage to the property, fixtures, or fittings. There is a distinction between surface scratches on a baseboard and a huge hole in drywall, for example.
Landlord-tenant rules in the United States do, in fact, favor tenants. However, landlords have certain rights to collect rent on time, conduct regular inspections, and dismiss a tenant for a lease violation.