If you’re a new landlord you have to know that being one is no simple matter. Aside from the identity of you tenants, you also have to be aware of all the landlord duties and all the laws related to tenant-landlord relationship. Otherwise you will be regarded as irresponsible, which in return could make you pay thousands of dollars after a court ruling.
A landlord’s responsibilities include the following:
- Make sure that the unit rented is in habitable condition. That means as a tenant moves in, the property should already be properly restored; all that is broken should be fixed (with possible new painting on the ceiling and the wall). Major problems such as the plumbing and the heating should be mended too.
- If your tenant complains about these problems while she or he has already residing in the unit, you must provide repair before the 24th hour expires.
- You can’t just enter the rented unit without due permission from the tenant. You have to respect the law and keep the right of the tenant to quiet enjoyment intact. As a responsible tenant, you have no right whatsoever to violate this (except of course for emergencies).
- If you do not make the appropriate repairs within the time limit, be prepared to face some lawful consequences. These consequences are tenant withholding rent, tenant hiring an outsider to fix the problem, tenant paying less rent, tenant calling the business inspector, and in some cases, tenant moving out. You may also expect the tenant suing you in court for refund of past rents.
If the worse case scenario has happened, the best thing you can do is hire a lawyer. You need a good legal advice to help you solve this problem. If worse comes to worse you will need a legal representation in court.