What Does A New Landlord Need To Know?

Being a landlord is a big job and comes with a lot of responsibility. Part of the landlord's responsibility is knowing the rules and laws for landlords and tenants. If you are a new landlord, now is the time to get fully aware of your rights and the rights of your tenants. Here are some things all new landlords need to know:

Prepare Yourself Before You Rent Your Property

If you have just purchased or otherwise come into ownership of a property you plan to rent out, take some time to do proper research. You cannot simply place a "for rent" sign on the lawn and take the first tenant that responds.

One important part of being a landlord is proper tenant screening. This includes running a credit check and employment verification. These steps are necessary because you want to ensure your tenant is capable of paying rent each month. You may also want to check their social media accounts to get a better idea of who will be living on your property.

Another part of your preparation is getting familiar with the tenant laws in your state. You also need to research the Fair Housing Laws. You do not want to get tangled up in legal issues if your tenant does not work out.

Make Your Rental Terms Clear

When you rent your property, you have the right to set rental terms as long as they are in accordance with the law. You need to have your terms clearly written out in the lease and make sure the tenant is aware of them. For example, you may not want pets on your property to avoid damage. This needs to be in the lease documents. You also must get your tenant to initial each term and sign the documents to show they are aware of the terms before they move in.

Understand the Tenant's Right to Privacy

As a landlord and the owner of the property, you may think you have the right to enter the property when you want. Although you do have rights to check up on the property, the home is technically the tenant's home and they, therefore, have a right to privacy. If you need to do an inspection, make a repair, or otherwise need to get inside the property, you have to give the tenant proper notice. Not doing so could open you up to legal problems.

Understand Eviction Laws

At some point, you may find you need to evict a tenant. Each state has laws surrounding eviction. You need to get advice from an attorney for your first few evictions at least until you fully understand how to manage the process.

If you need landlord legal advice, reach out to a firm like Shaw Legal Service

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