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Legal compliance and best practices in rental property management

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2023 | Real Estate |

Establishing a successful landlord-tenant relationship hinges on key practices and legal compliance. Managing a rental property in New York within legal boundaries can be a complicated job.

To avoid legal problems, landlords should set clear guidelines and understand their responsibilities.

Tenant screening processes

Careful tenant screening procedures can help landlords to choose trustworthy tenants. Landlords use tenant screening to make informed decisions and protect themselves, their properties and other tenants. Landlords can learn about tenants by conducting background checks, confirming employment and income and checking references from past landlords.

Safe and habitable properties

In 2018, owners were the day-to-day managers for 42.3% of all rental properties in the U.S. Landlords must ensure rental properties are safe to avoid negligence or endangerment charges. Regularly inspect properties, promptly fix hazards and follow building codes and safety standards.

Clear and transparent lease agreements

Landlords need clear lease agreements to set expectations and guidelines for tenants. Clearly outline these terms of the lease:

  • Lease term
  • Rent payments
  • Property rules
  • Maintenance responsibilities
  • Security deposit terms
  • Termination clause

Providing these details can prevent misunderstandings that may result in legal conflicts.

Timely and legal eviction procedures

Landlords must follow legal eviction procedures to avoid criminal charges for unlawful eviction or tenant harassment. In New Jersey, the landlord must describe the eviction cause to the tenant in writing. Following the written notice, the tenant is not required to move until the landlord files a motion with the court. These steps help to navigate the eviction process without violating tenant rights.

Responsible handling of security deposits

Landlords must handle security deposits carefully to avoid accusations of financial wrongdoing. This includes collecting, storing and returning deposits properly. Landlords should also give tenants a detailed account of any deductions made.

Understanding and following the established guidelines can help landlords maintain positive relationships with their tenants and operate their rental properties with integrity and adherence to the law.