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5 Landlord Responsibilities Every Landlord Should Know

Stephen Foster - Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Property Management Blog

So, you're interested in becoming a landlord? Well, we certainly understand why.

It's an extremely lucrative, high-demand career. And the income you receive is mostly, if not completely, passive. Most who go down this path end up very successful at it.

Still, it takes a lot of research, effort, and ultimately experience to learn how to be a landlord. The hardest part is knowing/taking care of your obligations under landlord-tenant law.

Fortunately, this is the part we're going to help you with today. The following guide lists and explains the 5 most important landlord responsibilities you need to know about. Read on to learn more.

1. Keep the Property Habitable

All property owners are required by law to make sure that any buildings that they own are kept in habitable condition. The definition of "habitable," and the specific requirements it entails, vary by location. For this information, you can do some location-specific research about keeping a building habitable/up to code in your area.

However, some of the requirements are universal. The most obvious example is that the home must have all essential utilities at all times.

This includes electricity, running water, and waste management. Many locations also require a functional heating/cooling system.

Any safety hazards or security risks, like broken windows, must be remedied immediately. Pests, mold, and other health hazards must also be dealt with urgently.

2. Other Property Maintenance

Additionally, you should do more than simply address problems when they arise. General property maintenance is the responsible way to prevent the problems above before they happen.

This includes:

  • Professional maintenance/yearly inspections of roofs, chimneys, gutters, and HVAC systems
  • Regular pest control prevention services
  • Regular carpet cleaning services
  • Replacement of worn-out home components as necessary

In addition, the tenants should be held responsible for certain maintenance tasks, too. You, the landlord, must instruct them about these tasks. (These should also be included in the lease.)

3. Obeying Housing Laws

Aside from habitability, each property location has differing housing laws to abide by. This includes stipulations such as rent control and compliance to various acts, like the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Consider enlisting a lawyer to help you with this part.

4. Leasing Agreements and Obligations

Compliance with all that we've mentioned so far involves your tenants as well as yourself. Namely, all of these issues must be outlined in your lease agreement.

Furthermore, your location has additional laws concerning lease agreements that must be included, too. The most common are regulations about security deposits and owner disclosure obligations.

5. Managing Tenants

Lastly, you are responsible for keeping your tenants responsible. This means making sure that they hold up their end of the deal and that they obey neighborhood laws/ordinances.

It also means that you need to take action against unruly, disobedient tenants. Take note, though. There are many laws you must be careful to obey when evicting tenants.

Need Help With Your Landlord Responsibilities?

As you can see, it's extremely important that you don't fall behind in your landlord responsibilities. So, keep this guide bookmarked for reference and always take care of these duties.

Besides that, though, you might need even more help keeping these commitments. Fortunately, our San Antonio property management services provide you with as much or as little help as you need. To learn more or to get started, contact HomeRiver Group now.