Whenever a lot of beginning Lehi investors take into consideration purchasing a single-family rental property, what oftentimes comes to mind are the operational aspects of the investment: finding tenants, managing property maintenance, and collecting rent. What you may overlook is that there are a mind-boggling number of laws and legal matters that relate to buying and leasing rental homes.
Even if a small number of federal laws will involve rental properties nationwide, certain laws that you will need to ascertain and know well about are those on the books of your state, county, or even city. Hence, it is imperative to do your research and have a clear understanding of these laws before you buy an investment property.
Real Estate Agency and Licensing Law
One of the integral and key people on your investing team is your real estate agent. The laws that govern the relationship between an agent and their clients differ from state to state. As an investor, it’s critical to know and be aware of what your real estate agent can and cannot legally do, from disclosures to acting in a dual agency capacity.
Similarly, know that real estate agents may or may not have kept abreast with property management laws. You should therefore have a sound understanding of the procedures required by Utah for getting and keeping a real estate license and validate that your agent’s license is current and in good standing.
Transfers of Ownership
Another state-specific set of laws you should understand is those that are about voluntary and involuntary ownership transfers. Voluntary transfers of ownership are those that come about when a rental property is bought. Yet, there are a small number of differences among state laws relating to who will handle the transfer (your real estate agent or an attorney, for example), whether title insurance is required, who pays which closing costs, and who owns the property on the day of closing.
In the same way, you should also certainly learn your state laws about involuntary ownership transfers. These transfers customarily are carried out when the heirs of a deceased property owner inherit the property. Understanding these laws can help you prepare and really make the process so much better whether you inherit property or leave your property to someone else.
Limitations on Use
In several states, local regulations will be in control of how a property owner may apply and use their property. Zoning ordinances, deed restrictions, historic preservation programs, and environmental review laws can all limit how a property owner may use their land or structures.
As an investor, it’s advantageous for you to comprehend and understand well any local ordinances that may intrude on your likelihood of being able to renovate or lease the property you would like to buy. You should also ask around if any occupancy laws impacted your plans to put into use the property as a rental.
Fair Housing and Others
There are federal, state, and even considerable local laws intended to protect tenants’ rights and prevent discrimination. So while really understanding your federal tenants’ rights laws is critical, you also need to grasp well whether your state has supplemented those laws with stricter versions of their own. You should moreover check thoughtfully for any rent control policies that may apply, both current and those that are likely to be enacted one day.
Learning your local Landlord/Tenant laws and habitability standards will help safeguard that you manage your investment property the appropriate way. Tenants’ rights laws can cover a whole bunch of things, from security requirements to frequency and notification about rent increases.
Discovering all of the really important laws in Utah can be a lot of work, as a consequence, it’s quite reasonable for some rental property investors to hire Lehi property management experts instead. At Real Property Management Utah County, we are well-knowledgeable of all the ins and outs of state and federal laws and can always make sure that your investment properties are leased and managed in accordance with those laws. Call today at 801-889-1517.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.