Top Ten Legal Mistakes Landlords Make – Part V

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on March 28, 2007 under Landlord Tenant Lawsuits | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

And, now the last of the top ten mistakes landlords should avoid making:

  1. Withholding Security Deposits For Broken LeasesMost landlords are wont to retain the entire security deposit account, in the event of a tenant’s breach of lease, justifying their action by laying the blame solely on a tenant’s misbehaviour, reasoning that ultimately they need it to cover the rent. However, it is illegal to do so in most states, as a landlord is expected to take reasonably prompt steps to re-rent, and credit any new rent toward the tenant’s obligation for the rest of the lease. Keeping a two month rent deposit and re-renting within a month not only illegal, but could land you in a litigation soup.
  2. Failure to Return Security Deposits As Per the LawIt seems security deposits are not only used improperly, they are as well, often not returned in accordance with the state law, either. Many states have imposed deadlines by which landlords are required to itemise deposit use, and return the balance. However, tenants are often made to wait many weeks, even months for this accounting, which is why in some states, deliberate or ‘bad faith’ deposit retention can result in the landlord being penalized by being ordered to pay the tenant, two or three times the deposit amount.

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 www.e-renter.comfor tenant screening and background check services., the best tenant screening agency in America!

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