Being a landlord can be rewarding, but it can also be quite challenging if you are not sure what to expect. When it comes to being a landlord, it pays to know what is legally required of you. Failure to know the law can land you in hot water with tenants, and could even cause you to be sued by a tenant. Hiring a property management firm is one way to avoid legal complications as property managers will focus on ensuring the property is up to the right codes and standards. However, landlords are still responsible for certain things such as obtaining insurance for the property and making sure the property is up to code. Here are some additional landlord legal responsibilities you need to be aware of if you are renting a Denver property.
Understanding Habitable Unit
What exactly does the term “habitable” mean? The term refers to a rental unit that is found to be fit for living. What this means is the property needs to be free from hazards or defects and needs to comply with all state and local building and health codes. Failure to meet these requirements can cause a breach of contract, allowing a tenant to leave early, or can even cause a tenant to take you to court.
So what does it mean if a property is deemed uninhabitable? There are quite a few living conditions that could lead to this situation from mold growth in the window sill to a plumbing concern. It is essential to have the property correctly maintained and cared for in order to meet local and state regulations. There are some things property owners can do to ensure the property is habitable:
- Obtain state and local health and building codes to ensure the property meets these requirements.
- Maintain the property in a reasonable manner. What this means is you need to inspect the property and make sure it can protect your tenant. A leaky roof is a clear violation of improper property management.
- Offer access to all necessary elements including heat, water, and electrical. If you have an old water heater, it’s time to replace it. Tenants deserve to have access to the basic things to enjoy living in a property.
- Repair anything in need of fixing in a timely manner. Tenants deserve prompt attention when there is a concern with the property.
- The property needs to be well-maintained and hazard-free.
- Property needs to include access to a peaceful, quiet living condition. Proper insulation can aid in reducing noise concerns.
- Treat the property for pest problems. If you do deal with rodents and other pests, pay an exterminator to care for these concerns so a tenant does not start seeking a new property to rent.
- Have clear expectations regarding rules related to noise, drug usage, and additional tenants. Clear communication is essential for both parties to have a favorable outcome.
- Follow the legal eviction process if a tenant needs to be evacuated.
Hire a Property Manager
With so many little requirements, it is no question to see why many landlords hire other people to manage their property. Keyrenter Denver provides property management services and will ensure your property meets all legal requirements. We work hard to help both landlords and tenants receive a favorable outcome for both parties. To learn more about landlord legal responsibilities, contact Keyrenter today!