With the record number of Americans relocating to The Sunshine State, you may be thinking about adding income-producing properties to your portfolio or considering becoming a landlord for the first time. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a beginner, it is important that you do not overlook some essential landlord responsibilities.
Common landlord responsibilities
- Knowing the landlord-tenant laws for your jurisdiction: As a landlord, it is critical that you know and understand all the tenant-landlord regulations for your city and state. It is important to remember that ignorance is not an excuse for not knowing the laws.
- Preparing a lease agreement: All legal paperwork, including the lease agreement is the responsibility of the landlord. All terms of the lease agreement should be clearly defined and additional clauses such as a requirement for renter’s insurance must also be included. If you are in need of assistance, consulting a real estate attorney is a great option.
- Delivering possession and implied warranty of habitability: Once there is an executed lease agreement and initial funds are collected, the landlord must deliver possession to the tenant. Furthermore, the unit must be safe and habitable without any serious deficiencies.
- Providing safety features in the property: Your local city should have safety requirements for the property. For example, you may need to provide smoke, fire, and/or carbon monoxide detectors in the home.
- Completing repairs in a reasonable time frame: While tenants are responsible for reporting any repairs that need to be completed, landlords are responsible for having these repairs completed in a timely manner. Keep in mind, the longer it takes to make a repair, the more damage there may be. In extreme cases, the tenant may even vacate the property if the repairs are not completed quickly.
- Reporting crime to the authorities: If a landlord becomes aware of any criminal activity taking place at the property, he/she must report it to the authorities immediately. In fact, some landlord-tenant acts have specific laws that can find a landlord liable if their property is used for dealing or creating drugs.
- Respecting the tenant’s rights to quiet enjoyment: Tenants have the right to enjoy the property peacefully without being disturbed. Once the tenant takes possession of the property, the landlord must not interfere with this right to quiet enjoyment. Should the landlord need to enter the unit, proper notice must be given to the tenant. Generally, a 24 – 48 hour notice should suffice.
- Responsibility for property manager’s actions: In the event that a landlord hires a property manager, it is important to note that the landlord may be held liable for the property manager’s actions. While this is an often overlooked item, it is critically important that landlords fully vet any potential property managers prior to hiring them.
As we have mentioned previously, home ownership and real estate investing are some of the best ways to accumulate wealth. In South Florida, we are continuing to see a higher demand for rental housing as more people are relocating to our area. Becoming a landlord is an excellent way to supplement your income, however it is critical that you are well informed of the various landlord-tenant laws for your area.
Are you looking to buy or sell a property in South Florida? Now more than ever, it is critical to have a qualified real estate team and the proper search tools behind you. At Live South Florida Realty, Inc., we have been a leader in the South Florida market for many years. Let our team of professionals assist you with buying or selling your piece of paradise today! In addition, our recently launched “Florida Home Search” app is now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. With real-time MLS feeds, this app lets you set your own alerts to notify you as soon as a property meeting your needs hits the market. Furthermore, it will also let you know of recent closed sales in your area so that you may be even more educated on the market. Be sure to download this app for your smartphone or tablet today!