Owning and managing rental property in California can be complex, and there are many obligations landlords owe their tenants. When a landlord fails in his or her obligations or there is a dispute with a tenant, it can eventually lead to complex litigation. If you own rental property, it is in your interests to know what the expectations are of you and how you can avoid problems.
You may own the property, but that does not necessarily mean you can do whatever you want as long as there is someone renting it. It is smart to know your rights as a landlord, as well as the rights of the people who rent your property. Avoiding common mistakes that many owners and property managers make can help you avoid legal problems and unnecessary costs.
What landlords should not do
As a landlord, you cannot do things that violate the rights of your tenants. Tenants deserve a certain expectation of privacy and much more, and violating their rights could lead to litigation, financial losses and more. Some of the most common mistakes made by many landlords include:
- Including provisions in the rental agreement that are illegal
- Compromising the safety of the tenant by removing hazards
- Asking discriminating questions on the rental application or directly to the tenant
- Violating the right to privacy by entering the dwelling without proper notice
- Failing to fix hazards and broken things in a timely manner
- Withholding important information and failing to disclose certain facts about the property
- Neglecting to have the right amount of insurance you need on your rental property
Even if the tenant is late on his or her rent, there are still steps you have to take in order to evict the tenant in the right way. You cannot simply change the locks and remove his or her personal belongings.
Protecting the rights of landlords
When you know what you can and cannot do as a landlord or property manager, you will be less likely to experience complications that arise from tenant disputes. Some rental property owners find it beneficial to work with an experienced real estate attorney in order to deal with matters appropriately while still protecting their rights as the owner of the property.
In the event you are involved in a contract dispute or other type of legal complication involving your tenants, you would be wise to take quick action to resolve the issue in a timely and effective manner.