A Landlords Legal Responsibilities
A landlord & property owner must be aware of the landlord-tenant laws and other related issues. It is a false economy for independent landlords to forego a landlord-tenant attorney’s assistance in decision-making when it comes to tenants and the rental properties. There are many traps for the unwary when it comes to landlording. For example, laws about handling security deposit and last month’s rent are complicated and lengthy. They are also can cause a landlord to lose a year’s profit, in some cases. These end up costing many times more money than having an attorney work with you at the inception.
Being a landlord is a tough business. Your responsibilities go far beyond collecting the rent. You can lose a lot of money if you do not know the law. You may faces criminal charges in some cases. Working with a landlord-tenant attorney in the beginning can ensure your success.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding to be a do-it-yourself landlord:
How can I find good tenants?
Finding tenants that will pay the rent, keep the property in reasonable condition, and not disturb others is not as easy as you may think. You cannot always judge people by first appearances. Dealing with problem tenants is a nightmare for the landlord. Try to get rid of a bad tenant. It will cost you several months’ rents, court costs, and lots of property damage.
What should I do with the first and last month’s rent, and security deposit?
These issues are the most common defense of tenants when they are in Housing Court. In my experience representing inexperienced landlords, this is always the defense used by the tenants. I have read cases where the mishandling the funds costs the landlord more money that the tenant they are trying to evict.
In Massachusetts, landlords are typically have free reign free to deny tenants a rental location based on bad credit history, bad references, history of late rent payments. However, discrimination against certain groups is illegal. There’s more to beware of than you think!
When can I enter the Tenant’s apartment?
The laws are specific about the right to privacy and the landlord’s right to enter the tenant’s home. Furthermore, this can become a complicated costly issue if not understood.
What Types of Tenancies are there?
There are several and each one of them has legal requirements. A landlord must know this if they expect the landlord business to be profitable. This area requires an attorney’s knowledge and experience to help a landlord select the proper form of tenancy. Many landlords invest in real estate and rent apartments without any understanding of the many issues that come with each type of tenancy. The novice landlord believes that they will rent the apartment, the tenant will pay rent on time every month and things will be great. Things seldom work that way. It’s a matter of time before this type of landlord finds himself in Court.
There are many, many more issues to being profitable. Hire an attorney to work with you! For help navigating a landlord / tenant dispute, call attorney Bucklin at 781-632-8675 or contact him directly here!