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4 Landlord/Tenant Laws You Need to Know

Landlord-Tenant Lawbook Next to an Eviction NoticeWhen you are a Ballard property owner, it is critical to understand the laws that govern rental homes in your vicinity. Landlord-tenant law discloses the rights and obligations that both landlords and tenants have relative to a rental property. Despite that some aspects of landlord/tenant law vary from state to state, there are other parts of the law that all property owners – and tenants – would do well to remember.

Landlord/tenant law, oftentimes, depends on the strength of your lease agreement. Lease agreements are binding contracts that should very clearly outline the relationship between the landlord and their tenant. A good lease agreement should have detailed information about the responsibilities of both parties as well as language that protects their rights.

But every lease agreement must also follow state and federal tenant/landlord law. Once in awhile, Ballard property owners might include sections of a lease agreement that violate those laws. For instance, discriminating against a tenant based on gender, religion, race, or disability is illegal. That sort of discrimination violates the Federal Fair Housing Act, which protects individuals in certain classes from being denied housing.

Additional important laws to keep in mind involve those that regulate security deposits. Even though many landlords press tenants to pay a security deposit before moving in, the amount of such deposits may be limited under your state law. Landlord/tenant laws also dictate how security deposits are to be returned, plus how soon the refund must be issued after a tenant moves out.

As an example, the law states that all security deposits must be returned to a tenant when they move out, minus any documented deductions for repairs or cleaning costs. Deposits could be a rather complicated area, since some deductions are allowed, it is however illegal for a landlord to deduct the cost of regular maintenance or normal wear and tear.

In several states, landlords have a maximum of 30 days to return a tenant’s security deposit. Exceeding this timeframe could have serious consequences for every landlord, accordingly, it’s vital to observe any time limits included in your state or local laws.

Tenant/landlord law, furthermore, commonly includes protections for both tenant rights and landlord rights. Most state laws state that tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment, a livable condition, and a certain level of privacy. The flip side of these rights and entitlements is that landlords have responsibilities to see to it that their property maintenance and oversight do not violate these rights.

The law also ensures that landlords can protect their rights. State laws often protect a landlord’s right to require a monthly rental payment as well as other payments as specified in the lease (utility bills, for instance). The law also protects a landlord’s ability to evict tenants for nonpayment or other legal causes. However, generally, a very specific process must be followed to ensure that a tenant’s rights are not violated during an eviction.

By seriously remembering key aspects of landlord/tenant law, you can make sure that your rental properties and policies are in compliance. Operating within the law can help you avoid expensive and unnecessary lawsuits and always keep your rental properties profitable for the coming years.

At Real Property Management Uintah, our team of expert Ballard property managers is here to handle the legal requirements for you. Our staff is trained and well versed in landlord/tenant law, equal housing, fair housing, and more. To review and discuss our property management plans, contact us online or call us at 801-889-1517.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.