Landlord tenant law


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Landlord tenant law

  1. 1. You’re living on your own now You must know the rights and responsibilities of The Tenant (that’s you) The Landlord
  2. 2. Tenant: Somebody who rents a house or apartment for a fixed period of time. Landlord: A person that owns property that is rented to tenants.
  3. 3. Know average rent for area Cost of Living Calculator Compare rent between two cities
  4. 4. Length of the lease  Month-to-month  6 months  1 year Amount of Rent Amount of security deposit
  5. 5.  Application Fee for Screening  Credit Check & bankruptcies  Employment & Income  Rental History & Evictions  References Applies to each tenant Non-Refundable
  6. 6.  Legal Poor Credit History Insufficient income Bad references Past behavior destruction of property Tenants would exceed valid occupancy policy  Illegal Race Religion Ethnic background or national origin Sex Age Tenant has children (except in senior housing) Mental or physical disability Some states: Marital status or sexual orientation
  7. 7. Month-to-month rental agreement. An unspecified period of time, with rent usually payable on a monthly basis. Provides flexibility if you’re not sure how long you’ll stay Rent or rules can be changed at anytime
  8. 8.  Lease: An agreement that requires a tenant to stay for a specific amount of time and restricts the landlord’s ability to change the terms.  Usually requires at least a 6-to-12 month commitment  Rent and rules stay the same for the lease period.
  9. 9.  Be prepared to sign a lot of paperwork.  Keep these guidelines in mind:  Request a copy of the paperwork in advance. You can review it at your own pace.  Become familiar with rental lingo.  Read every word before you sign!  Remember if you sign it you’re liable for it
  10. 10.  How much can a landlord charge for a deposit?  Varies by state: some have no limit  Usually not more than 1 or 2 months of rent When does the landlord have to return the deposit?  Varies by state: 14 days to “within a reasonable time”
  11. 11.  The length of tenancy  The amount of rent and deposits the tenant must pay  The number of people who can live on the rentals property  Who pays for utilities  Whether the tenant may have pets  Whether the tenant must sublet the property  The landlords access to the rental property, and  Who pays attorney fees if there is a lawsuit
  12. 12. Giving up your right to defend yourself in court Limiting the landlord’s liability for things they’re normally responsible for
  13. 13.  Weatherproofing  Available heat  Water  Electricity  Clean, Sanitary,& structurally safe  Smoke detectors  Security-Locks & keys
  14. 14.  Pay rent and utilities on time  Comply with local ordinances  Noise  Business out of home Keep unit clean and sanitary Dispose of garbage properly Respect common areas Lobbies, garages, and pools
  15. 15.  Properly operate heating, plumbing, and electrical systems  Don’t intentionally or carelessly damage dwelling  Don’t interfere with other tenants use of the property  Return the unit into the same condition as when you moved in
  16. 16.  Important for each tenant  Landlords insurance won’t cover your loss  Insurance covers loss to belongings:  From fire & theft  Depends on value of policy: $25K- 50K  Deductibles start at $250
  17. 17. Get landlord’s approval Will adding a roommate exceed the occupancy limit? Will your new roommate meet your landlords good tenant criteria?
  18. 18.  Adding a roommate to the lease or rental Agreement  New lease More Roommates, More Rent  More wear & tear Security Deposit Increases
  19. 19.  May need to  Make repairs  Show property  Must give notice  Varies by states from 24 hours to “ reasonable notice  No notice needed  Emergency  Fire  Serious water leak  Abandonment  You can’t refuse access
  20. 20.  Put your request in writing  Give landlord time to respond. Required response time varies by state but generally:  24 hours for no heat or cold water, heat, electricity, or for other hazardous or life- threatening conditions  72 hours for refrigerator, range, oven or major plumbing problems  10 days for all other repairs
  21. 21.  Options when the landlord won’t repair:  Pay less rent  Withhold rent  Make repairs  Hire a professional & deduct cost from rent  Call building inspector  Mediate or go to court  Move out (give notice)  Varies by state
  22. 22.  Not paying rent  Even if one day late with rent  Three-day notice to pay or move out required  Not complying with term of rental agreement  Ten day notice to comply or move out required  For creating a waste or nuisance  Three day notice to move out required  No option to stay to correct problem
  23. 23.  No cause  Varies by state  Twenty-day notice required  May not be discriminatory or retaliatory  If tenant refuses to vacate, landlord can obtain court order and request sheriff to move belongings
  24. 24.  Even if you’re behind in rent  Lockouts  Utility shutoffs  Taking your property (unless you abandon it)  Retaliatory action
  25. 25.  Tenant can legally break the lease it.  Landlord fails to Make repairs  Fails to comply with health & safety  Tenant responsible for reminder of rent under lease term  Landlord has duty to find a new tenant
  26. 26.  Landlord can legally break the lease if:  Tenant pays rent late, has a dog under a no-pet cause, or damages property.  Land lord may:  Give time to change i.e. find a new home for the dog  Ask tenant to leave  How varies by state
  27. 27.  Provide written notice according to your rental or lease agreement  Rental: Usually 30-day notice  Lease: You’re responsible for rent for remaining leasing term unless landlord can rent unit
  28. 28. Clean apartment and leave in same condition as when you moved in (except normal wear and tear) Leave forwarding address for deposit return
  29. 29. Ask parents to walk through rental with you Take pictures of everything ( include date on photo) Go through rental check list
  30. 30.  Your state Attorney General’s office  Your state Housing and Urban Development (HUD) department   Choose your state/Housing Download state-specific information