Owning rental property comes with many different benefits. It can be a practical source of income and a smart investment for the Tennessee property owner. While owning and managing rental properties can be a lucrative source of income, it can also bring various legal complications if the landlord does not handle certain matters appropriately. If you are a landlord, you will benefit from an understanding of your rights, as well as the rights of the individuals who rent property from you.
There are times when the line between the rights of landlords and the rights of renters is not clear. You may find yourself in the midst of a complex legal dispute, and you might not be certain of the ideal way forward. It is beneficial for your legal and financial interests to have an understanding of common issues faced by landlords and steps you can take that will lower the chance of an expensive, complicated and stressful dispute with a tenant.
Things to avoid
Even though you are the owner of a rental property, tenants still have certain rights, and violating these rights could lead to difficulties for you. If you are a landlord, the following are examples of things you will want to avoid in order to prevent disputes with your tenants:
- Asking questions on an application or during an in-person interview that one could view as discriminatory in nature.
- Including illegal provisions in the terms of your rental agreement, such as forcing a tenant to waive their right to sue you in certain circumstances.
- Violating the tenant’s right to privacy by entering the residential areas without a valid reason, permission from the tenant or proper warning if repairs are necessary.
- Failing to provide a safe environment for the tenant by allowing dangerous conditions and failing to make necessary repairs.
- Ignoring the proper procedures for eviction or refusing to return the security deposit back to the tenant if you owe it to him or her.
These are only a few examples of things that could result in a legal dispute between you and your tenant. As you are creating your rental agreements or making other important real estate decisions, you may find it helpful to work with an experienced professional who can evaluate your goals, assess your contracts and provide insight regarding how you can protect your interests.