How would you rate yourself as an informed landlord? I’ve put together a list of questions that landlords should know. It is and always will be, our policy to keep you wisely informed on the business of owning investment property. That is the principal reason for this White Paper. Here is a questionnaire with answers below. I hope this will increase your knowledge of landlord/tenant law.
- Can a landlord refuse to rent to a tenant with pets?
- Can an assistance animal be refused and can you charge a deposit for this animal?
- What important document is needed if a residential property was built before January 1, 1978?
- Can a landlord give a Notice to Vacate to a tenant on a lease?
- Can a landlord refuse to rent a property to people with children?
- What important act is the basis for much of the landlord/tenant settlements and legislation?
- True or false – a definition of habitability in rental housing is anything that endangers the livability of the property and the health and welfare of the tenants.
- True or false – unsafe electrical in a rental unit is a good example of violating habitability.
- True or false – a property owner can enter his rental property at any time without the permission of the tenant.
- True or false – it is a good policy to require a tenant to do all maintenance.
- True or false – it is a good policy to carry the minimum insurance on an investment property.
- True or false – turning down an applicant due to poor credit is considered discrimination.
Answers to the Questions
- Yes, you can refuse to rent to a tenant if they have a pet as long as there is no discrimination involved.
- No, you cannot refuse a tenant with an assistance animal and you cannot charge a “pet deposit” – this is discrimination per Fair Housing Law.
- A lead-based paint agreement is needed for residential property, 1-4 units, built before January 1, 1978.
- Yes, you can give a Notice to Vacate to a tenant on a lease as long as the date to vacate is beyond the end of the lease, even if it is only one day. However, you cannot just give a Notice and expect them to move out before the end of the lease.
- You cannot refuse to rent to persons with children unless it is qualified for seniors or over 55 status. Otherwise, it is considered discrimination.
- The basis for many landlord/tenant settlements or legislation is the URLTA, the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act.
- False – the tenant has the right to privacy and most states have very specific laws on the right to enter. It is also common courtesy to notify a tenant because it is his or her residence for the lease term.
- False – it is not a good policy to require tenants to do all maintenance for many reasons and particularly when it comes to issues of habitability. The courts, under the URLTA, will not uphold requiring a tenant to perform all maintenance.
- Generally, this is false because it is worth carrying a good “landlord policy” that covers more than a standard fire and liability. Many good landlord policies cover vacancy losses under certain conditions, vandalism, and more.
- Definitely false – a landlord can require good credit as one of the criteria for renting and it is required of all applicants.
So, how did you do? We hope this questionnaire helped you. Understanding landlord/tenant laws and good practices are the best protection a landlord has other than hiring a professional property management company such as Pyramis Company in San Antonio, Texas. We will continue to work on keeping you informed and knowledgeable.