The Obligations of a Landlord | Pyramis Company

The Obligations of a Landlord

 

The relationship between a landlord and their tenants is important; in some sense, even sacred. Landlords provide their tenants with a place to call their own, a home in which to raise their families, live their lives; a sanctuary and a retreat from the hard times, a place of celebration in the good. Any relationship with that much importance has certain rules that define it, some stated, some implied. The obligations of a landlord are essential to keep in mind to preserve good tenant-landlord relationships.

Financial Obligations

As the landlord, you have to make sure the property is paid for. This means that if you have mortgage payments to make, you have to make them every month, even when rent might be a bit low; you can’t put the well-being of your tenants at risk by putting the property at risk. This means you’ll also have to pay all the property taxes and other incidental fees. Finally, it means you’ll need to pay for any necessary upkeep or repairs on the property.

Know the Law

You are responsible for knowing all local, state and federal laws pertaining to the landlord-tenant relationship; it is assumed that by entering the business of landlording, you understand what the law requires of you. This may mean keeping buildings up to code and not using lead paint, and it may mean avoiding discriminatory practices. There are a plethora of laws to know about in Texas alone, and that’s without considering federal and local compliance.

Be Available

Pipes burst, furnaces malfunction, water tanks rupture and electricity goes down; bad things happen at the worst times, so you need to be available 24/7. This might mean you have to avoid taking a vacation, and it means you might lose hours of sleep, but it doesn’t have to. You can always have another point of contact for your tenants; there are reputable property management companies that can serve as your liaison with your tenants, so as to handle emergencies while you’re away.

Maintain Your Property

Properties must be kept habitable; what habitable means exactly depends on local, state and federal laws. The basics of habitable generally include keeping your property clean and safe. This means the stairwells and other common areas should be cleaned regularly and kept free of obstruction. Utilities, like your HVAC system and electrical, must be maintained and kept up to code. Potential health hazards, like vermin and toxins, must be found and eliminated; toxic building materials and paint must never be used to renovate. Tenants must also have access to waste disposal services, hot water, and other essential amenities.

You must be able to handle all of these responsibilities and more to enter the world of landlording successfully; professional property managers are an exceptionally useful tool for making sure your obligations to your tenants are met.

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