It’s crucial that you, as a landlord, understand your legal standing with regard to the upkeep of your rental property. Equally essential, though, is knowledge of landlord prohibitions. Violating a tenant’s rights can result in trouble with the law, fines, and even a loss of reputation. In this blog post, we’ll explore six things a landlord cannot do and how to stay compliant with the law.
Discriminate Against Tenants
Landlords are prohibited from discriminating against tenants on the basis of these factors. Discrimination in the rental market can take many forms, such as a refusal to rent to a certain person, an increase in rent or fees, a change in the terms and conditions of the lease, or even harassment of the tenant.
Landlords must treat all tenants fairly and equally in order to remain in compliance with fair housing laws. Rental property ads should not make any hints about the landlord’s preferences for tenants in the language used. Landlords should conduct tenant screenings (such as credit checks and criminal background checks) in the same manner for all applicants and base their decisions solely on objective criteria.
Enter the Property Without Notice or Permission
Except in cases of emergency, landlords are not allowed entry into rented properties without prior notice to and permission from tenants. The minimum amount of notice varies by state but is usually between 24 and 48 hours. Landlords need a good reason to enter the rental unit, like the need to make repairs or check on the property. Landlords must give tenants advance written notice of their entry into the property and the reason for the entry in order to be in compliance. It’s also smart to give tenants the option of being present during the entry or scheduling a time that works for everyone involved.
Retaliate Against Tenants
Tenants are protected from retaliation by landlords when they take action to enforce their rights under the law, such as reporting violations of the housing code or filing a complaint with the appropriate government agency. There are a variety of ways that a landlord can retaliate against a tenant, including raising rent, cutting back on services, or even filing for eviction.
Landlords who take tenant complaints seriously and resolve them quickly are more likely to remain in compliance. Tenants who have complained to their landlords should not be punished for doing so, either by an increase in rent or a refusal to renew the lease.
Use Harassment Against Tenants
No landlord is allowed to make their tenants feel unsafe or harass them. A tenant’s right to peaceful enjoyment of the rental property can be violated in a number of ways, including through verbal or physical abuse, threats, or other disruptive behaviour.
Proprietors must treat tenants with dignity and refrain from actions that could be interpreted as threatening or intimidating in order to maintain compliance. Landlords also have a responsibility to act swiftly when they receive reports of harassment and to take measures to prevent further incidents.
Disclosing Tenant Information
Owners have no right to invade their tenants’ privacy. Trespassing on the rented property without prior consent or notice, disclosing personal information to unauthorised parties, and illegally installing or using surveillance equipment all fall under this category.
Landlords who comply with the law will treat tenants’ property with respect and will only enter the rental unit after receiving a written request or emergency. Tenant information should be kept private and only shared when required by law.
Refuse to Make Repairs
It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the rental unit is in a safe and livable condition. This includes fixing anything that breaks or is unsafe, as well as fixing the problem. Landlords are not allowed to refuse to make repairs or to charge tenants for repairs that are the landlord’s responsibility.
A landlord’s ability to comply with the law depends on how quickly he or she responds to repair requests and addresses any health and safety concerns. To add to that, they need to make sure the building abides by all applicable housing regulations.
When Can You Benefit From Hiring a Property Management company?
While many landlords hire a property management company for help with evictions, that’s not the only reason they’re sought out.
Property managers’ ability to negotiate favourable rates with vendors is one of the most obvious ways they cut costs for building owners. They also have more leverage in negotiations with contractors than the average landlord because they can offer them work at multiple properties.
Expertise in Legal Jargon
Real estate management firms aren’t lawyers, but their familiarity with legal matters can be useful. Because of their extensive experience in the field, they are well-versed in the relevant local laws and can provide you with initial guidance to help you avoid common pitfalls and the associated legal fees.
Simple, Effective, and Practical Technology
The days of just dropping a check in someone’s mailbox to pay a bill are long gone. Online presence is a must for landlords in today’s market. Online payment processing, maintenance work order filing, and the submission of requests are all streamlined with the technology already in place at property management companies.
Most property management firms also have connections to higher-quality contractors, on top of being able to negotiate lower prices for their clients. In other words, they have already put in the time and effort required to vet contractors and establish rapport. They are better connected and have easier access to top-tier talent, allowing them to deliver superior results at lower costs and with greater durability.
Human Resource Management
Human resources are an invaluable asset for any company, including property management companies. Landlords who work with a property management company gain access to the firm’s additional expertise in human resources, helping them to implement best practices and maintain maximum profitability.
Although becoming a landlord and investing in real estate can be a great way to build wealth, it is not without its challenges. It is imperative that you always follow the rules and regulations that pertain to your property and tenants. If you hire a professional property manager, you can rest assured that your business will be built in accordance with all applicable laws and will provide safe, high-quality housing to tenants.