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4 Landlord/Tenant Laws You Need to Know

Landlord-Tenant Lawbook Next to an Eviction NoticeBeing a Shelby Township property owner, it is vital to understand the laws that govern rental homes in your community. Landlord-tenant law outlines the rights and obligations that both landlords and tenants have relative to a rental property. Even though several 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 usually rests on the strength of your lease agreement. Lease agreements are binding contracts that shall 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, on another note, lease agreements must also follow state and federal tenant/landlord law. At times, Shelby Township property owners might include sections of a lease agreement that violate those laws. As an example, discriminating against a tenant based on gender, religion, race, or disability is illegal. Such discrimination violates the Federal Fair Housing Act, which protects individuals in certain classes from being denied housing.

Some other important laws to always remember include those that regulate security deposits. Despite that several landlords require tenants to pay a security deposit before moving in, the number of such deposits may be limited under your state law. Landlord/tenant laws, furthermore, dictate how security deposits are to be returned, together 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 could be a complicated area, considering that while some deductions are allowed, it is illegal for a landlord to deduct the cost of regular maintenance or normal wear and tear.

In many states, landlords have a maximum of 30 days to return a tenant’s security deposit. Exceeding this timeframe could have serious consequences for any landlord, thus it’s critical to observe any time limits included in your state or local laws.

Tenant/landlord law likewise, generally, 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 flip side of these rights and prerogatives is that landlords have responsibilities to make sure that their property maintenance and oversight do not violate these rights.

Naturally, 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, frequently a very specific process must be followed to ensure that a tenant’s rights are not violated during an eviction.

Through remembering key aspects of landlord/tenant law, you can see to it that your rental properties and policies are in compliance. Operating within the law can help you avoid expensive and unnecessary lawsuits and keep your rental properties profitable for several years to come.

At Real Property Management Metro Detroit, our team of expert Shelby Township 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 discuss or confer about our property management plans, contact us online or call us at 248-808-6550.

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.