Landlord and Tenant Rights 101
Landlords are people who own real estate properties-including residential apartments, commercial spaces, and even vacant land. Sometimes they are also called owners-tenants. A landlord is also the legal owner of a home, apartment, condo, land, or other real property that is leased or rented to an individual or company, who is commonly known as a tenant. When a landlord is in this position, the word landlord is often used.
Other common terms used to describe landlords are the owner and lessor. If a rental unit that is leased by a landlord has been vacant for six months or more and the landlord fails to pay the rent to the tenant, he or she may be legally able to evict the tenant. However, if the landlord attempts to evict the tenant before the end of the lease period, then it may not be legally possible. Evictions during the lease period can be a much more complicated matter.
It’s important to remember that most landlords aren’t just concerned about the condition of the building and the safety and sanitation of the rental units they own. Landlords also want to protect their reputation. Many times, this means making repairs and altering the property to make it more suitable for guests or tenants. Many landlords will want to know about the habits of potential tenants, and if there are any problems or issues with the property which would make them less likely to rent or buy a unit from the landlord.
Tenants on the other hand have two legal requirements to satisfy before entering into a rental agreement with their landlords. First, they must be able to afford the rent. Landlords will check to see that tenants have all of the money they need and won’t look to increase the rent until they can prove that they have the funds to do so. In addition, renters must be able to pay for any damage to the property they will be occupying. While some exceptions may apply, for the most part tenants will have to put down a deposit to ensure that they will be able to maintain the property and pay for any damage they cause.
Landlords and tenants also both have a right to cancel a lease at any time. If a person or business is unable to continue to occupy the property, landlords will usually allow the tenant to move out after the notice period has ended. The same goes for when damage to the property occurs that causes the tenant to be unable to stay. If damage is so severe that it requires extensive repairs, landlords may be willing to require the tenant to pay for the damages out of pocket. Again, this may be contingent upon the situation and the reason for the eviction.
Finally, both landlords and tenants have the right to require that the landlord provide a security deposit. This security deposit will be given to the tenant in case the rental agreement is canceled by the landlord for some reason. In addition to the security deposit, landlords will usually require a first and last month’s rent payment as well as a late charge per day for non-payment of rent. In many cases, tenants will be asked to put down a small deposit for the first month and then pay the full month later. While landlords will generally not ask for a large security deposit, it is still possible to get one.