A List of Landlord “Don’ts”

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on June 4, 2010 under Landlord and Tenant FAQs, Landlord Tenant Lawsuits, Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

to-do-list2Take a look at these true landlord stories—and avoid repeating their mistakes. These are definite landlord don’ts!

  1. George informed his landlord that he lost his job and can’t afford the apartment any longer, so he needed to break the lease and move. The landlord told George he’d be responsible for the rest of the rent until the lease is up— unless he’s able to rent the apartment first. George knows the landlord is having a hard time filling vacancies, so he was surprised to see the apartment on Craigslist for $500 more per month than George was paying. George knows the landlord will never rent it at that rate. He thinks the landlord is deliberately avoiding re-leasing the apartment.

    Don’t be unreasonable—if you’re a landlord who is not trying to find a replacement tenant, or rejects a qualified tenant, your current tenant could have a case against you. If rents are declining, advertising a higher rent is not going to look legitimate. George knows the market. Your tenants probably do, too.

  2. Carrie was informed by her landlord that she’d be responsible for the cost of refinishing the hardwood floors after she moved out. Carrie didn’t think it was fair, because the floors were nearly a hundred years old, and she didn’t damage them beyond a few scratches. She thought her landlord was trying to bully Carrie into financing her new floors. Her suspicions were confirmed when she did some online sleuthing and saw that her landlord had a Twitter account—and found her tweet saying, “thanks to my tenant for beautiful new floors!”

    Don’t repeat any tenant business online. If they don’t see it, their friends will. Word travels fast online!

  3. Sharon and Joe applied to rent an apartment. The property manager informed Sharon that because they are unmarried, each of their incomes would need to be three times the rent in order to qualify for the rental unit. Sharon thought this was unfair, so she asked the local Housing Authority to look into it. She was right—it’s illegal to require higher incomes from unmarried couples.

    Don’t be ignorant of Federal and state Fair Housing Laws in any tenant interactions. Discriminating against applicants on the basis of family status, race, country of origin, religion, disability, sex, or color is illegal.

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