6 Ways to Avoid Problems with Tenants
Renting out a property is a great way to bring in some extra money and expand upon your assets. Here are six things you should keep in mind if you are thinking about renting out a property:
- Comply with Anti-Discrimination Laws –
When renting out a property it is crucial that you comply with anti-discrimination laws. Be sure that you are familiar with the Federal Fair Housing Act. As a Landlord you are allowed to reject applicants based on a variety of reasons such as credit score. The Federal Fair Housing Act clearly provides a list of the reasons you may not discriminate. Knowing who the protected classes are will protect you.
- Provide Habitable Housing –
As a Landlord, you are required to keep your rental property in livable condition. Failing to keep the property in a good condition can result in lawsuits against you. In addition your tenant may not have to pay rent due to the condition. Keeping up on the quality of your property will allow you a more profitable income and help keep you out of court.
- Prepare a Legal Written Lease or Rental Agreement –
Knowing the applicable law is important to drafting a legal lease or rental agreement. Having an attorney draft these documents can keep you from adding clauses that are illegal and will cause you trouble. An attorney will also be able to add clauses that may help protect you.
- Follow Exact Procedures for Termination a Tenancy or Eviction –
Should you have to terminate a tenancy, make sure you follow exact procedure to avoid any undesirable consequences. Ohio law has specific laws in place regarding proper procedure and notices must be completed. These laws protect the rights of landlords and tenants during the termination/eviction process.
- Provide Tenants with the Necessary Disclosures –
There are certain disclosures that a landlord is obligated to provide to tenants. A landlord is required to provide the tenant with the name and address of the property’s owner or their agent. A landlord is also required to provide tenants a lead-paint disclosure form if the property was built prior to 1978. These disclosures are able to provide a Tenant with basic information that they need and help you avoid lawsuits.
- Don’t Retaliate against Tenants who Exercise a Legal Right –
If a tenant is taking legal action against you, do not retaliate. Your tenants have the right to exercise legal actions that they find necessary. Rather than trying to fight with your tenant by raising the rent or refusing to provide services, do everything to avoid the situation. Keep your units in good repair, provide necessary disclosures, follow anti-discrimination laws, and follow proper Ohio laws.
If you are a landlord having trouble or are in the process of starting to rent a property and need help, contact our office at (330) 673-3444 to speak with one of our attorneys.