3 Key Responsibilities of Landlords

key responsibilities of landlords

According to RubyHome, 34% of the residences in the U.S. are rented by those living there. Although the majority of renters choose apartments, others rent rooms or houses. In all of these transactions, while tenants have conditions they must abide by, landlords are bound by laws generated by the state where they live.

Some states have a more significant percentage of renters than others. To pinpoint only one U.S. state, according to DoorLoop, almost 37% of people who live in New Jersey rent the home where they live. If you’re planning on renting an apartment or any other rental unit, you may have questions about the responsibilities that your landlord will have towards you. Here are some guidelines in three critical areas of responsibility that landlords must abide by:

Before You Move In

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a landlord must follow the tenets of the Fair Housing Law. This law forbids a landlord or rental agent to deny someone housing because of their race, religion, ethnic origin, or family status. Sexual orientation and gender identity can’t be used to deny housing, either. If you believe you were denied acceptance by a prospective landlord or rental agent for any of those reasons, you can file a complaint against them.

Once an agreement is made to rent an apartment, the landlord must prepare the unit in anticipation of your move-in day. A typical lease contract signed by the landlord and tenant will mandate that the landlord must provide a safe unit that is ready to be lived in. The rental unit must be clean and free of mold or water leaks. Any appliances included with the apartment must be in good working order.

While You Live There

Your landlord’s business obligations continue while you live on their rented property. Your landlord must provide a way to contact them when you need repairs. It’s up to the landlord to maintain the property, including mowing the lawn or snow removal. If safety hazards occur in common areas (like stairwells or hallways), the landlord must return the area to safety.

One of the requirements typically mandated by a lease is to maintain quiet during specified hours. Landlords are held accountable if this mandate is violated. The landlord must give the tenant notice before they enter their apartment. According to American Family Insurance, this notice must typically be given 24 to 48 hours in advance.

Renters must pay their rent on time, and landlords must notify their tenants 30 to 60 days in advance if the rent is to be raised. Landlords must keep a renter’s security deposit in their rental agency’s business bank account. Therefore, if a renter moves out, the landlord must quickly return the deposit.

If they Plan to Evict You

Your lease agreement will spell out the conditions under which your landlord can evict you. Common reasons include non-payment of rent or causing significant damage to the property. If a tenant doesn’t maintain a clean home – perhaps to the point where pests are invading, this can also result in eviction.

If you are convicted of a crime while on the premises, the landlord can require you to move out. Each state of the U.S. has a government-mandated eviction process. To cite a specific example, in New York State, landlords must file a motion in the municipal court to lawfully evict a tenant.

These requirements have been established to ensure tenants have safe and comfortable homes. You may think of these requirements as a tenant’s investment in their property. However, you could also view them as part of what you pay for renting your home. Either way, these guidelines have become a part of the business exchange between you and your landlord.