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What Are Landlords Responsible For?

The term landlord is as noble as it sounds and the responsibility carried by that title is heavy. But what exactly are a landlord's responsibilities or obligations when running a rental property? 

1. Abiding of safety codes

Fire safety, lead paint disclosure, mold prevention, smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, hazard-free common areas, and window guards/grills. A landlord is responsible for the safety of their tenant during their stay. Detectors, alarms, and extinguishers should be available and installed by the landlord in compliance with building codes.

2. Management of security deposits

Landlords have the right to require a security deposit from tenants. However, they cannot spend or keep that deposit for themselves. But if the tenant has broken the lease agreement such as damaging the property or missing rent payments, then the landlord has the right to take money from the deposit to cover costs.

3. Repairs and maintenance

The landlord is responsible for fixing property malfunctions caused by faulty systems and weather-related phenomena. For example, low-quality pipes or clogged drains. A landlord is also responsible to provide and maintain plumbing and electricity.

Related article: Maintenance Tasks Tenants Are Responsible For

4. Tenant disclosure

The disclosure of information to the tenant regarding the property such as utility charges, bedbugs, murders/death that happened in the rental within the past 3 years, mold, or application for a demolition permit. 

5. Tenant’s personal issues

The landlord may play the role of a therapist or a counselor if the tenant shares their personal problems that affect their tenancy. For example, if a tenant desires to speak with you in a state of panic regarding rent payment, you play a role in helping the tenant calm down and find a win-win solution together.

6. Watching or supervising

Keeping the property clean, quiet, safe, and fully-functional is also a landlord’s responsibility so that all tenants can have an enjoyable and peaceful stay. 

7. Rent collection

A landlord must collect monthly rent with a receipt at all times or may ask another person to collect the payment if the landlord will be unavailable on the due date. (But before doing so, the landlord must inform the tenant in advance to avoid confusion.)

Related article: 8 Ways on How to Get Tenants to Pay Rent on Time

8. Disaster and tenant insurance

In case of a fire or a calamity resulting in property damage, will the damages be covered by the landlord? It depends. If the fire is caused by the built structure such as electricity and plumbing, the landlord pays for the property’s repairs and restoration. However, the landlord is not liable for a tenant’s stolen or damaged personal belongings. There needs to be proof that the landlord has contributed to the damage and loss. Be sure to remind your tenant to get renter’s insurance and to always exercise caution.

9. When selling the property

When a landowner sells their property, the landlord is obligated to inform the tenant of the new ownership. However, the landlord cannot keep the safety deposit and is also obligated to either return or transfer the deposit to the new owner with the complete amount unless there are deductions. 

These are just some of the responsibilities a landlord has to fulfill when running a rental property. To obtain more information, be sure to check the laws pertaining to rental housing within your state. Doing this will help you protect your rental business and live peacefully with your tenants. 

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