A tenant has found the perfect home to rent in your property, and they can’t wait to make it your own. However, in the back of their mind, they’re worried that you as their landlord may trample on their tenants’ rights. The last thing they want is for their new “home sweet home” to become a thorn in their side.
Research shows that during the first three months of 2020, nearly 35% of houses were rented. That’s a jump from the low of almost 31% witnessed back in 2004.
Fortunately, as the number of renters increases, you as a landlord can make your tenants’ rental situations positive ones simply by upholding tenants’ rights.
Here’s a rundown on the tenants’ rights you need to know about before you rent out your home in 2021 and beyond.
Let’s dig in!
Habitable Living Place
One of your biggest responsibilities as a landlord is to make sure that your tenant has a habitable residence to live in safely and reasonably.
For instance, you can’t offer them a home with holes in the wall or sizeable cracks in the floor. Likewise, you can’t give them a home without running water, without electricity, or with pest infestations.
If your home ends up experiencing any of these issues, you must make the necessary repairs to keep your rental home habitable. However, note that some repairs and maintenance tasks are the responsibility of the tenant. These include fixing a broken window screen or a malfunctioning light bulb, for example.
Also, note that your tenants should be required to clean their carpets and even change the furnace filter before they move out. So, be sure to outline these two items on your rental move out checklist.
Security Deposit Rights
Another tenant right to take seriously is the tenant’s right to reclaim their security deposit once they are ready to move out of your property.
Only if damage has been done to your home can you make deductions from their deposit. Likewise, you can make deductions if your tenant has outstanding rent. However, in these situations, you should explain in writing your reasons for withholding some of their security deposit, then give this to the renter.
Finally, you cannot evict any tenant without a legitimate reason or cause.
Viable reasons for evictions include failure to pay rent or damaging your property. Other reasons include jeopardizing other tenants’ safety or even committing crimes.
Also, you’ll need to give your tenant a notice explaining the eviction proceedings they’ll be facing. Furthermore, if they are evicted, you can’t utilize self-help methods, like changing your home’s locks, to get the job done. Instead, a sheriff’s deputy or sheriff must remove your tenant from the property.
Protect Your Tenants’ Rights Today
When you rent out properties, it’s critical that you remain cognizant of the variety of tenants’ rights that you must respect. By doing this, you can remain compliant with the law and also prevent liability.
Fortunately, as long as you give your tenants’ habitable homes and protect their security deposit and eviction rights, you can stay out of trouble as a landlord. Follow the above-listed tips to make sure that both you and your tenants’ best interests are protected in the months and years ahead.
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