LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF LANDLORDS ACCORDING TO THE LANDLORD-TENANT LAW
Landlord-tenant laws slightly vary from state to state, but there are common responsibilities every landlord is obligated to provide. The law was created as a guideline for the interactions, rights, and legal obligations for both landlords and tenants. Listed below are responsibilities every landlord must adhere to, no matter what state their rental property is located.
1. Manage Security Deposit
Landlords have the right to charge a security deposit, however, the landlord doesn't own the deposit. The security deposit is meant to be a form of security in the event the tenant doesn't pay rent, damages the property, or breaches the lease-rental agreement. Please contact the Law Offices of Jennifer R. Snyder for specific laws on the maximum charge on security deposits by state, returning the security deposit, and what to do if you sell the property to the tenant. Landlords can face legal consequences for failing to follow the landlord-tenant law.
2. Disclose Information About The Property Owner
Disclosing property owner information is the responsibility of the person signing the rental lease agreement with the tenant. If disclosure is not made, the person collecting rent becomes the person to handle all matters related to the property.
What to Disclose
Names and addresses of the property owners, who have the power to manage the building, collect rent, make repairs, and address any issues
How to Disclose
The information disclosed should be in writing before the tenant begins living on the property. The tenant must be notified of any changes.
To ensure the tenant knows the proper contact for any requests, questions, rent, and so on.
3. Deliver Possession of the Property
The property must be vacant on the move-in date specified in the rental lease agreement. If the property is not vacant by the specified date, the tenant has the right to seek legal action for failing to honor the rental agreement.
4. Maintain the Property
Landlords are responsible for keeping the property clean, safe, and habitable. They must provide any necessary repairs, including plumbing repairs, A/C repairs, and heater repairs. Click here for more information on landlord duties.
5. Liability of the Landlord
Landlords are liable for the following obligations under the landlord-tenant law and the rental-lease agreement as long as they are the owners of the property. Once the property is under new ownership, the landlord is relieved of this liability.
The landlord who originally collected the security deposit is still responsible for it. They have 2 options to relieve liability:
Transfer the rental deposit to the new owner, minus any allowed deductions, and notify the tenant in writing.
Or, return the rental deposit to the tenant, minus any allowed deductions.
Reference: Eberlin, E.. (2019, January 9). Basic Landlord Obligations Under Landlord-Tenant Law. Retrieved from https://www.thebalancesmb.com