Landlord And Tenant Law
Both landlords and tenants are protected under the law, recognizing that the parties, while at the other end of the leasing spectrum are both concerned on the property and the rent. Under the Federal Fair Housing Act, landlords are prohibited from discriminating against race, religion, sex, among other things. State laws also reinforce the federal anti-discrimination law by protecting possible tenants based on sexual preference, among other characteristics. In addition, landlords, under the Americans With Disabilities Act, are required to provide special accommodations to renters with disabilities.
Landlord and tenant law governs the relationship and any issues arising from the relationship between a landlord and a tenant. The law requires tenants to know the entity they will be dealing with directly with regards to the property so that they would know where to go for repairs or maintenance. Landlord and tenant law also requires landlords to screen tenant applicants and conduct credit and background checks. Landlords are also required to ask for security deposit from tenants.
A lease is a legal document that can be brought to court for interpretation when disputes arise. The lease lays out the responsibilities of both landlord and tenant, with the landlord responsible usually for maintenance and repair and the tenant responsible for paying the rent. There are nuances involved in the drafting of a lease, such that, while the lease may be drafted by the landlord himself, it is best to seek the help of a landlord and tenant law attorney especially in the drafting of the first lease so that all the legal responsibilities of both parties are stated in clear and understandable language. A lease is not required to create a landlord-tenant relationship but is a cautionary tool in cases when breach of any party may arise. In the absence of a lease, landlord and tenant state law of the state where the rental is located will govern. Both parties can terminate a lease, and state law requires ample notice period of the lease termination.
Under the law, landlords or the property owners, in cases when the two are not one and the same, are required to comply with housing standards that would vary from state to state. Violation of the state housing code may give the tenant the right to withhold rent, although this rule may not be applicable in all states. In addition, violation of the state housing code will subject the landlord or the property owner to administrative action and fines. The law requires a tenant to obey the landlord's rules and must preserve the condition of the property. In addition, tenants are required under the law to pay rents on time, or else be subjected to eviction following non-payment of rental. Landlords, however, must not act by himself in cases of eviction as the eviction process is subject to the law and failure to head the law can turn the tide against the landlord.
It may seem that landlord and tenant relationship is governed by common sense, rather than by a law or a set of laws. These landlord and tenant laws, however, are in place because not all landlords and tenants heed the laws of common sense. There are numerous legal disputes arising from landlord and tenant relationship and these disputes should be resolved with the help of landlord and tenant law attorneys as there are complexities involved in these cases.