Landlording 101: A Quick List of Landlord Responsibilities

Around 34% of US households are renters, not homeowners. That means there are a lot of landlords out there! And if you are thinking of renting your property and becoming a landlord, you need to know what you are responsible for.

It’s obvious that the tenants are responsible for paying rent. And it’s obvious that you need to allow tenants to live in that property. But this list of landlord responsibilities will help you with anything you didn’t realize you had to do and anything in the grey area.

So, what are landlords responsible for? Read on for your essential list!

Manage the Security Deposit and Upfront Rent

Your first responsibility is securing the deposit or upfront rent as set out by state law. Landlords never own the security deposit, it is only there in case the tenants breach their lease agreement.

So, you need to put the deposit in a separate, secure account that you never touch. You will also need to return it before a certain time when your tenants move out, too.

You also cannot charge whatever you want for the security deposit. Most states have legal limits.

Disclosure of the Property Owner

Everyone involved in the management of the property needs to feature on the lease agreement. This includes their names and addresses.

If you decide to go through a property management company, like Nomadic Real Estate, then you both should be on the agreement. Any building owners or agents need to feature, too.

Landlord responsibilities include notifying the tenants if this information changes during the tenancy. 

Deliver Possession of the Property

An obvious point but, yes, your list of landlord responsibilities includes letting the tenants live in the property as agreed! This is the law so you should be aware of it.

You also need to provide a moving-in date on the lease agreement and stick to it.

Maintain the Property

This is a grey area because the tenants are responsible for property maintenance up to a point. But the vast majority of maintenance lies with the landlords.

Are landlords responsible for pest control? Are landlords responsible for ensuring the place is clean? In most cases, yes.

Landlords are also responsible for:

  • Building codes
  • Plumbing
  • Electricity
  • Heat
  • Water
  • Trash 
  • Repairs
  • General maintenance

If you want to check the property’s maintenance at any time, you need to give your tenants adequate notice.

Be Responsible for the Liability

Though you do not live in the property, you are liable for anything that goes on there. Landlord responsibility for tenant safety is important.

Always be on top of property maintenance and make sure your tenants can contact you or an agent in an emergency. 

Use This List of Landlord Responsibilities to Keep Yourself in Check

This is the bare minimum list of landlord responsibilities you need to fulfill by law. As a landlord, you have the power to change the current landlord/tenant dynamic. Be an empathetic landlord, don’t put money before wellbeing, and you will have a much more fulfilling experience.

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