If you’re just starting a landlord service, and you’re nervous about making a mistake, that’s okay. A lot of landlords are nervous when they first start. You may have previous bad experiences under your belt from when you were renting–but don’t let that deter you. Know that you can make a difference, so long as you follow these easy tips. Read on to discover what you should never do if you want to be a landlord.
Your tenant has the right to be as private as they want. Legally, you can’t go inside the property unless you give a 24 hour notice–after such time, you can enter to show off the property, or to make repairs. Make sure you make this clear on your lease so you don’t run into trouble later.
- No discrimination
Regardless of personal beliefs, every citizen has the right to nondiscriminatory housing. This means you can’t do anything except make sure they can afford your place. You’re allowed to check their credit, among a few other things that vary per state. But don’t start asking questions about someone’s background or marriage–this can lead to a lawsuit if you’re not careful, and it’s better to be safe.
- Insure yourself
In case you do make a mistake, you’ll want to have some kind of safety net. Insure your property against those tenants who may want to sue you. It’s always a good idea to have insurance in case of natural disaster, but insuring the property means you’ll be more protected if you are to break some kind of rule, like illegal entering.
- Keep your contracts legal
This seems pretty simple, but you may think you have more rights as a landlord than you actually do. You can’t sign away anyone’s right to a returned security deposit, and you can’t take away their ability to sue you. Also, you do not have the right to refuse service to anyone. In Maryland, we have antidiscrimination laws in place that prevent personal identifiers from being denied housing. This includes but is not limited to: gender, age, creed, race, ethnicity, country of origin, or sexuality. You could run into a nasty lawsuit if you ignore this.
Here’s more about protecting yourself as a landlord.
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Tags: landlord, landlord business