Top Ten Legal Mistakes Landlords Make – Part II

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on March 22, 2007 under Landlord Tenant Lawsuits | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

In order, to avoid landing themselves in to legal hot water, it is essential for landlords to be up on federal, state and local laws governing rental businesses. Sheer ignorance does not amount to bliss, but to a whole lot of unwarranted and expensive litigation. Therefore, if you have property to rent out, best avoid making the following top ten mistakes most landlords make:

  1. Discriminatory Family Policies
    Since, the past 20-years rental laws forbid landlords from discriminatory practices, such as, refusing to rent to families. Though, it is illegal, many owners of rental property prefer not to let their units to couples, who bring in young children or teenagers as part of the package deal. Property owners exclude families, as they feel children occupancy will lead to greater wear and tear of property, as well as, noise disturbance instead of a “mature, quiet” environment. And while, the number of residents in a unit (in most situations, two occupants per bedroom) can be limited, the same standard cannot be applied to families. Discriminating against the latter can mean only one thing, another trip to a lawyer’s office for dealing with a fair housing complaint.
  2. Undeliverable PromisesDon’t rave about property benefits to prospective tenants, though it may be necessary to do so in a highly competitive market. Bear in mind, any enthusiastic promises will become binding, in the event rental applicants rely on them when deciding to rent. For example, if you have promised an applicant parking space, satellite service, or a new paint job, then you will have to fulfil your promises. Not doing so may result in a tenant, either terminating the lease or suing you for the difference in value, between what was promised and what has been delivered. Who wins is not the point; the issue at stake is that it is going to cost you both time and money to respond to the complaint.

That apart, landlords should make themselves cognisant with all rules and regulations before drafting tenancy leases or rental agreements. They must also take all necessary precautions, such as, tenant screenings, background checks on prospective tenants, including making certain all rental lease clauses are adhered to, as insurance for a litigation free landlord / tenant relationship. A simple click of the mouse and any landlord or property manager can visit for tenant screening and background check services., the best tenant screening agency in America!

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