“Oh no, you’re not letting some slumlord take your hard earned money. I’ll fix it. I used to do that kind of thing all the time when I was a slumlord” (NBC’s Community http://www.nbc.com/community). This might seem like a funny line to you, but it is also something that can get you into a lot of trouble. Following is a checklist of things you must accomplish before, during, and after occupancy for your tenants and yourself.
- Property: The Property must be in livable condition.
- Repairs: Must be made before the tenant moves in. Also, any repairs during occupancy must be fixed by you, the landlord..
- Utilities: Do not turn off your tenant’s water, electricity, or gas. Make sure to inform your tenant when the disconnect will occur upon their move in. They will need proper time to transfer the utilities into their name.
- Move: If you plan to sell or transfer ownership of your property you MUST notify your tenants of the change immediately.
- State by State Statutes: Each state has its own laws. NOLO has a great posting of each one http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/chart-landlord-tenant-state-laws-29016.html
Remember that it’s your business. You want to make sure you’re not liable for anything, and following these basic principles is a start. You will want to look up your individual state’s laws as well.
Brandon C Varn
President Accurate Credit