Top 3 Landlord Legal Responsibilities You Must Uphold

Summary: Being a landlord involves understanding your state’s rules and regulations as well as complying with all laws associated with your state.

As a California-based landlord, you must follow specific state rules in regards to renting to tenants. This includes certain things like credit check fees and security deposits, the timeline and procedures for ending a tenancy, and returning security deposits. When you own a rental property in a California community with rent control, you’re obligated to comply with the local ordinances that limit how much rent you can charge and the restrictions that you can set. Remember, failure to meeting your legal responsibilities can lead to costly disputes with tenants and heft penalties.

  1. Anti-Discrimination Laws

Before you begin advertising your property, you have to understand the fair housing laws and what you can do and say when dealing with potential tenants. This includes advertising the rental, the questions you ask on the rental application and how to deal with the tenants that are renting from you. Discrimination complaints and lawsuits may result in failing to comply. You cannot discriminate against prospective tenants based on their race, origin, sex, religion, familial status, or mental disability. Be sure to comply with this laws first and foremost before you start running an instant online background check on every applicant that comes your way.

  1. State Rental Rules

Landlords want their tenants to pay their rent on time and without having to go through too much hassle. If you want to raise the rent or evict a tenant that has not paid his or her rent, be sure to comply with the rules and procedures in California. For instance, there is a limit on how much you can charge for a bounced check and how much notice (three days) you can give a tenant that has not paid rent. Prior to doing this however, it’s important that you obtain a background check on the prospective applicants that you are interested in. Various companies like Tenant Screening Services, LLC provide instant background solutions that make life easy for you. Be sure to shop around and find one that’s convenient for you as a landlord.

  1. Provide Adequate Housing

As a landlord, you are obligated to keep the rental premises livable in California under the implied warranty of habitability. If you do not take care of important aspects such as repairs, tenants have the right to withhold rent or “repair and deduct”. Needless to say, this can become costly if it comes to a dispute in the long run. Establish a repair and maintenance system to prevent these problems.