Owning a rental property is great. It’s easy to get started, it’s a good way to receive a steady source of income, and you are your own boss. But don’t get us wrong, there is a lot of work that goes into owning a rental property. Keep reading to learn what those are.
Comply with the Fair Housing Act
This is one of your biggest obligations as a landlord so before you advertise your rental property, it’s important that you understand these laws. Under the FHA, you cannot discriminate applicants based on their sex, race, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, or familial status.
Provide Habitable Housing
Every state and city may have different laws on what you’re responsible for as a landlord. But, they may include:
- Pest control
- HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and appliance maintenance
- Lawn care
- Snow removal
- Disclosing information about previous hazards like bed bug infestations, asbestos, or lead paint
If you have a loan for your rental property, you may be required by your lender to have insurance on the property. If not, it’s still a good idea to have it, to protect yourself and your dwelling. It’s also a good idea for your tenant to have renter’s insurance to help cover their belongings.
To be sure you have quality tenants in your rental property, you’ll want to use screening tools and background checks for your applicants. There are various tools online that offer varying degrees of thoroughness. Keep in mind these are an added expense.
Prepare a Legal Rental Agreement
Your rental agreement is a contract between you and your tenant. It will include details such as the rent amount, how long the tenant will occupy the residence, the tenant’s rights, when you can enter the property, and more.
Comply with State Rental Rules
All landlords want their tenants to take care of the home and pay rent on time, hassle-free. Whether you need to evict a tenant, raise the rent, or simply get into the home, you must comply with state laws. There are also laws for the following:
- Maximum amount for a security deposit
- Security deposit interest
- Bounced check fees
- Pet deposits
- Cap on small claims court
- Emergency entry without notice
- Late fees
- Move-out inspection timeline
As you can see, being a landlord comes with a lot of responsibilities, especially if you choose not to work with a property management company–and we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg. As a landlord, you’ll deal with many hurdles, but if you enjoy the responsibility and have the time and patience, you’ll reap the benefits.
Curious about investing in a rental property? We at Zenith Properties are here for you. We’re a full-service property management company proudly serving all of Clark County WA. We can help you as little or as much as you need when it comes to managing your property.