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What are my responsibilities as a landlord to the tenant?

There are many responsibilities that come with owning a rental income property but none more important than those that affect the safety of your renter. Your tenant's safety should be your utmost concern because if something happens to them in your rental unit you can be held liable. We will discuss the most common items you should be concerned with regarding being a landlord.

Rental Agreement

When accepting a renter as your tenant you should always sign a rental agreement so that each party understands what they are responsible for while that agreement is valid. In most cases landlords don't have renters sign rental agreements or they are very inadequate with information that may become vital later. The rental agreement is the starting point to what is expected from the landlord and the tenant but it does not stop there. Included in this agreement may be items such as:

  • Rent due date
  • Move in and move out date
  • Condition of unit prior to move in and acceptable conditions after move out without penalties
  • Prior notice for visits from landlord
  • Emergency contact information for landlord and local authorities
  • Security deposit amount and criteria for reimbursement

While these are necessary and helpful for both parties there are some additional items that may not be in the agreement but expected of the landlord.

In order to be a successful landlord you need to provide a place where your tenants feel safe. By providing timely repairs to maintenance issues you not only make your tenant happy but also minimize the potential liability risk inherit with rental property lawsuits. Your landlord insurance policy will have coverage for liability but you should do everything in your power to minimize that risk.

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Responsibilities of landlord not included in rental agreement

Here are some basic responsibilities that landlords have to their tenants that may not be included in the rental agreement.

  • Provide a clean and safe living environment
  • Have well lit hallways, stairways and entryways
  • Include all possible safety precautions such as fire extinguisher, working locks on doors and windows, and working fire detectors
  • Clear common areas of debris like trees or shrubs to minimize slip and fall
  • Respond to tenants maintenance requests in a timely manner
  • Comply with all building, housing and health codes