Becoming a landlord is an investment that will bring in another stream of income as you rent out your property to eager tenants. However, it also comes with a multitude of responsibilities that you are legally obligated to commit to. Your top priority is to provide a reasonable and safe living space that includes security and maintenance. If you’re interested in becoming a landlord, continue reading to learn more.
Provide a Habitable Living Space
As landlord, you must ensure that your tenants have access to a clean and comfortable living space. Depending on local laws, you are obligated to maintain the property and keep it up to standards. This includes:
- Ensuring all structural elements are safe and intact.
- Keeping the plumbing, electrical, heating, and ventilation in good working order.
- Supplying trash cans and dumpsters.
- Eliminating any vermin or infestation.
- Following safety codes and disclosing any history of hazards such as asbestos, lead paint, bed bugs, etc.
- Maintaining any common areas.
Ensure a Quiet Living Environment
It’s best to foster a peaceful community so all tenants can enjoy their residence without conflicts. Landlords should consider specifying in their lease that tenants should maintain a reasonable noise level so others are not disrupted. This will increase your reputation as an amicable place to live and attract more renters.
Maintain Tenant Safety
Maintaining safety is one of your most important responsibilities as a landlord. You are obligated to ensure all tenants are safe and that your property is well-monitored. The legal requirements may vary depending on the local law but regardless of where you live, here are some things to take into account:
- Double check all locks on doors, windows, and garages. Remember to rekey or replace locks after an old tenant moves out.
- Ensure common areas such as the parking lots are well-lit and monitored with cameras.
- Make sure all units have functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Other safety and rescue equipment like fire extinguishers must also be easily accessible.
- Supervise hired personnel such as contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc.
Perform Repairs and Maintenance
Landlords must respond to any issues that may impact a tenant’s quality of life. Urgent repairs for electricity, plumbing, mold, and so on should be addressed as soon as possible. For most major issues, you should respond within 24 hours of the complaint. Response times can vary for lesser concerns but its best to handle it quickly to prevent further damage. Another thing to remember is that unless it’s an emergency, landlords should notify tenants ahead of time before entering the rental property and should only visit during reasonable day time hours.
Track the Unit Conditions
When tenants move out, landlords are responsible for repairing anything that is considered normal wear and tear such as repainting scuffed walls, replacing damaged carpets, repairing loose or worn hardware, and more. Keeping a checklist of the unit’s condition when a tenant moves in and out can help keep track of things to review. Landlords can also collect a security deposit to cover any damage exceeding normal wear and tear.
There are many things landlords are responsible for and local laws can have additional things to keep track of. If you’re ready to become a landlord and you’re considering a second property to rent out, consult with American Mortgage Resource, Inc. Over the years, we have helped numerous homebuyers and homeowners with their mortgage and financing options. Learn more by visiting our website and schedule an appointment with an expert today.