Renting a property involves two parties, tenants and landlords. Both want to preserve their interest and the situation leads to some conflicts too. For a healthy professional relationship, both have to follow some rules. Tenants and landlords have some questions to know their rights and responsibilities. We are here to help you to get answers to some frequently asked questions. The topics of these questions are the same but the perspective of both parties is different.
Questions from the landlord’s perspective
Does the landlord have any preference for tenants?
Landlords has the right to rent out property to anyone. Landlords have preferences as well. They want a tenant, who is eligible to pay monthly rent. However, they shouldn't have any preference with regard to the gender, color, race, or religion of the tenant. Moreover, there should be no discrimination based on the disability or familial status of the renter. Landlords can make a checklist to choose the appropriate tenant, but it must comply with local laws.
If the tenant wants to move in immediately should the landlord allow them?
If your unit is unoccupied, you want a tenant to occupy it as soon as possible. But, keeping the realities in mind, immediate move-in of a tenant should be discouraged, firmly. It’s very risky to accept a tenant without any screening. So, don’t accept a tenant for an immediate shift, even if he is ready to pay advance rent for multiple months. If you want good tenants, proper screening is vital. Check your credit score, rental history, and employment status before renting out your property. Moreover, interview all potential tenants and try to judge their personality and attitude. If you try to skip screening, you may end up having irresponsible or even criminal tenants.
Should pets be allowed on rental property?
Some landlords have a strict no-pet policy, but even then they ask tenants if they own any pets. It’s the landlord’s choice if he allows pets or not. Allowing pets has its pros and cons. If you allow pets, you can ask for an extra pet fee but pets can cause damage to your property as well. So, decide what you want and keep the rule the same for everyone. Moreover, it should be clearly stated in the lease agreement.
Are landlords allowed to increase the rent?
In some states, landlords can increase rent whenever they want. But if you have rented a house for a fixed term, you are not allowed to increase the rent as long as the contract is valid. Moreover, tenants should be given proper notice before you increase the amount of rent. When you fix a rent, you need to consider the value of your property and local market trends. Low rent will reduce your profit and high rent will be unaffordable for most renters.
What if the tenant doesn’t pay rent on time?
Collecting rent is difficult for every landlord. Tenants have a legal responsibility to pay rent on time, but usually, they don’t do so. Sometimes they just forget about payment, sometimes they are too busy to pay. Another reason could be the loss of a job and ultimately lack of expenses. If you will give extensions to such tenants they will be more relaxed about their payments. But it’s important to ask the reason for non-payment or delayed payment. If the tenant is facing some financial problems, you can give some relaxation.
Can the landlord keep the security deposit?
If the tenant is not following the lease agreement, the landlord can keep the security deposit. If he doesn’t pay rent or utility bills or causes property damage, the landlord can keep security to fix the damage. Moreover, if the tenant leaves the house in a dirty condition, you can deduct cleaning charges from the security deposit. If there is no damage to your property, the landlord has to return the security deposit to a tenant within 15 days, after the agreement expires. Additionally, if you are keeping any deposit, you need to inform the tenant and tell them how much deposit you are keeping and what’s the reason for that.
Questions from the tenant’s perspective
Is the tenant allowed to make changes for his ease?
Read your agreement in detail before you make any changes to the property. Usually, minor changes are allowed. For instance, repainting the interior, hanging curtains, and installation of some hooks. However, for some extreme changes, you will need to get permission from the landlord. If the tenant installs a permanent fixture, it will become the landlord’s property when you move out. Moreover, the changes you are making should not be damaging to property. If the property gets damaged, the landlord can use your security deposit to fix them.
Who will pay for utilities?
Some utilities are covered in rent and some tenants have to pay separately. Usually, landlords pay for water, garbage removal, and sewage. But the tenant has to pay for electricity, Gas, and internet as per his usage. However, these things should be clearly mentioned in the lease agreement.
What to do if a repair is required?
Maintenance of property is the responsibility of the landlord. The property should be in good condition when you move in. If something needs repair, for instance, there is leakage in pipes or windows broken, the landlord has to do it. If the tenant has caused the damage, the landlord can repair it and ask for the charges from the tenant. If the landlord refuses to fix the problem, the tenant can send them a written notice. He can also send them legal notice and the tenant has the right to terminate the lease before it expires.
Can the landlord evict a tenant?
If the tenant doesn’t follow the lease agreement, the landlord can send an eviction notice. Usually, seven days are given to evict the house. If the tenant doesn’t pay rent or causes considerable damage to the property, the landlord can evict the tenant. If the tenant refuses to leave, the landlord can file a case in court and evict them legally within 24 hours.
Can tenants restrict the entry of the landlord?
When landlords rent their property, they must respect tenants’ privacy. They have to ask for the tenant’s permission before they enter. They can be exceptions like emergencies. Tenants can restrict their entry if they come without notice. However, tenants cannot change the door lock without getting permission from landlords.