4 Responsibilities That Are Yours As A Landlord
It is common knowledge that being a landlord is a lot of work. There are sinks to replace, bathrooms to repair, walls to paint, and hey, even in some cases, furniture to replace. Although such duties vary from state to state, included in this article are four responsibilities that are generally associated with being a landlord.
Your Repair Responsibilities
Among landlord responsibilities, repairing faulty facilities ranks among the most common. Almost every state has in place laws that require landlords to regularly upkeep any premises where tenants may be residing. Common provisions include ovens, bathtubs, sinks, heat and toilets.
Any failure to make sure that these amenities are running smoothly may result in a number of legalities being levied against you as a landlord. This can range anywhere from a fine to jail time for repeated offenses against multiple tenants. Most tenants have the right to sue if their landlord does not regularly maintain their facilities.
Maintaining A Safe Residence
You may not think it, but landlords actually have to do a fair amount of policing in order for them to be able to stay landlords. Every tenant is legally required – in almost every state – to undergo a background check. This is supposed to be filed by and paid for by the landlord. This is so a landlord does not unwittingly allow a person of ill repute to rent a home from him or her. It is, however, up to the landlord to allow the renter to lease the property, regardless of whether or not the person has a criminal background.
It is also up to the landlord to make sure that all commons areas of apartment buildings, such as hallways, are adequately lit and free of areas where potential danger can occur. If a tenant is robbed or injured on your property and they can prove it occurred in an area that should have been well-lit, you might be held liable for their losses or injuries.
The issue of insurance is a tricky one, once again, due to laws varying from state to state. However, every state absolutely requires that landlords have property insurance on their home or apartment building. There are various other forms of landlord insurance that a landlord will most likely have to file for, but property insurance is an absolute must have.
Protection from floods, fires and other Acts of God are the landlord's liability. Theft, on the other hand, is not. It is up to the tenant whether or not they wish to file for renter's insurance, which monetarily protects their own personal items from theft and other form of miscreant tampering.
Documentation is an absolute must in the case that you are a landlord. There are plenty of cases where you are legally required to keep documentation of interactions between yourself and your tenant.
Monthly receipts must be kept, filed, and, if your tenant requests it, a signed receipt must be given to the tenant him- or herself. Likewise, it is also simply a good idea to keep documentation of these interactions. Keep note of any complaints received – from either the tenants themselves or surrounding neighbors, as well as notes on the appearance of the apartment (such as any damage incurred, general cleanliness and state of affairs, etc.).
As you can see, being a landlord can, in fact, be a taxing job. One way to make your job as a landlord easier is to work with a property management company from a site like http://eastvalleypropertymanagement.com/. They can help you keep proper documentation, ensure that your property is maintained, as well as give you tips to keep your property as safe as possible.