If You Own A Rental Property, You Need To Know Your Rights

Posted on: 22 January 2015


It sounds like a dream to purchase an additional home in order to gain some income by turning it into a rental property. In many ways it is a sound source of extra money and a definite way to pay off any existing mortgage. However, before you dive into becoming a landlord, you need to know your legal rights and those of your potential tenants.

Laws Cover Rental Agreements and Deposits

You are not allowed to simply choose a rental price and go with it in most states; you are bound by state regulated ranges. It is up to each individual state to select the percentage range so it's never a good idea to go by a state that is not your own.

The rental agreement is typically a leasehold estate which is a contract stating the tenant has a temporary right to hold land or property. It is a form of land tenure where your tenant buys the rights to occupy the property for a specific amount of time. This time period may be extended if both parties agree.

Landlord Duties

You have many duties you must adhere to. These include the duty to deliver possession as stated under the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act in America. You must deliver possession of the property to the tenant at the beginning of the lease period.

You must also ensure the quiet enjoyment of the property. This means you may not interfere in any way with the tenant's rights within the lease. You may not simply enter the property while a tenant is in possession of the home without written notice – usually 24-48 hours prior to any inspection or visit. You may enter the home in the event of an emergency, however, without any advance notice.

Your property must in excellent condition too. It is your responsibility to provide a home that is free of any serious defects that might end up harming the health or safety of your tenant. Any repairs must be completed within a reasonable time frame; plus if you are unable to complete them yourself, you need to bring in a contractor to do them.

Know Your Tenant's Rights

It is not a simple thing to evict your tenant should the need arise. Tenants have their own rights, and it can take months to finally see an unwanted renter out of your property. To this end, research what rights your potential tenants receive and understand what you are able to do if things start to go wrong.

For more information, consult a real estate lawyer in your area.