As a Lehi property owner, it is imperative to understand the laws that govern rental homes in your neighborhood. Landlord-tenant law designates the rights and obligations that both landlords and tenants have relative to a rental property. Even while various aspects of landlord/tenant law vary from state to state, there are other parts of the law that all property owners – and tenants – would do well to remember.
Landlord/tenant law oftentimes depends on the strength of your lease agreement. Lease agreements are binding contracts that should clearly outline the relationship between the landlord and their tenant. A good lease agreement should have detailed information about the responsibilities of both parties as well as language that protects their rights.
But the lease agreement must also follow state and federal tenant/landlord law. From time to time, Lehi property owners might include sections of a lease agreement that violate those laws. For example, discriminating against a tenant based on gender, religion, race, or disability is illegal. That kind of discrimination violates the Federal Fair Housing Act, which protects individuals in certain classes from being denied housing.
Other important laws to always keep in mind encompass those that regulate security deposits. Although various landlords charge tenants to pay a security deposit before moving in, the number of such deposits may be limited under your state law. Landlord/tenant laws likewise dictate how security deposits are to be returned, along with how soon the refund must be issued after a tenant moves out.
For instance, the law states that all security deposits must be returned to a tenant when they move out, minus any documented deductions for repairs or cleaning costs. Deposits may be quite a complicated area, since while some deductions are allowed, however, it is illegal for a landlord to deduct the cost of regular maintenance or normal wear and tear.
In some states, landlords have a maximum of 30 days to return a tenant’s security deposit. Exceeding this timeframe could have serious consequences for all landlords, consequently, it’s significant to observe any time limits included in your state or local laws.
Tenant/landlord law, moreover, normally includes protections for both tenant rights and landlord rights. At the very least, most state laws state that tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment, a livable condition, and a certain level of privacy. The other side of these rights is that landlords have responsibilities to secure that their property maintenance and oversight do not violate these rights.
The law also ensures that landlords can protect their rights. State laws often protect a landlord’s right to require a monthly rental payment as well as other payments as specified in the lease (utility bills, for instance). The law also protects a landlord’s ability to evict tenants for nonpayment or other legal causes. However, typically a very specific process must be followed to ensure that a tenant’s rights are not violated during an eviction.
By consistently remembering key aspects of landlord/tenant law, you can make certain that your rental properties and policies are in compliance. Operating within the law can help you avoid expensive and unnecessary lawsuits and indeed make your rental properties profitable for many more years to come.
At Real Property Management Utah County, our team of expert Lehi property managers is here to handle the legal requirements for you. Our staff is trained and well versed in landlord/tenant law, equal housing, fair housing, and more. To ask and discuss our property management plans, contact us online or call us 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.