Realpro Property Management
Realpro Property Management – Portland, OR – There’s no denying that being a landlord can be a daunting task at times, especially if you’re still managing your rental properties yourself.
In addition to taking care of things like repairs and maintenance in a rental property, a typical landlord needs to stay up-to-date on the latest tenant-rental laws or they could find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
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Going to court is the last thing any landlord wants to do, but it’s very common these days because many landlords often do things to bring in new tenants.
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Unfortunately, cutting corners only leads to problems because it means that procedures are not followed and it is easy for any landlord to make a legal mistake (whether intentional or unintentional) that will bring them to court.
If you manage a rental property yourself, one of the biggest legal mistakes you don’t want to make is refusing to rent to families with young children.
Excluding or refusing to rent to families with young children has been illegal for over 20 years and violates every federal and state housing law you can think of.
As a landlord, you may not discriminate against tenants based on their sex, color, race, religion, or disability.
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One of the best things you can do to ensure you don’t get sued for discriminating against your tenants is to stay up-to-date on the latest HUD laws, rules and regulations, or hire a professional property management company like Property Management Systems. To professionally manage your rental properties.
In addition to bias, some other major legal mistakes you don’t want to make when managing rental properties include:
Banning applicants with a criminal history Criminal history can be a standard red flag; But according to a new policy memo issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development last year, criminal history alone is not sufficient reason to reject a tenant applicant. To be clear, that doesn’t mean you can’t consider someone’s criminal history at all in the tenant screening process. Instead, HUD is essentially telling landlords and property managers the following: You can’t blanket ban all applicants with criminal records. You cannot reject a tenant based on a no-fault arrest. You must treat similar crimes equally without regard to race, national identity, or other protected class. Instead, when evaluating a person’s criminal history, consider things like: Has the applicant been arrested or actually charged with a crime? How serious was the crime? How long ago was the crime committed? Was it a drug-related crime? To be on the safe side, we recommend screening tenants based on financial and other financial qualifications before conducting a background check. This protects you from denying a tenant for financial reasons – such as a history of unpaid rent – and when you argue that a tenant is denied based on a criminal record. Using General Lease Forms Standard lease forms should only be a starting point for landlords and property managers. General lease forms available for download online usually include the most basic information: names of all parties, property address, rent amount, lease terms, and so on. However, there’s no way to know if this generic form is in compliance with your state and local fair housing laws—and the protection may extend as long as you expect. Instead, hire an attorney to draft a lease that is specific to your property (eg, is parking included in the lease? Who is responsible for yard maintenance?) and complies with all local landlord-tenant laws. Hiring a lawyer to draft your lease is a one-time cost that pays for the protection it provides over the years. Laws about not collecting or withholding security deposits vary by state, but most have very clear rules about how much you can collect as a security deposit. Some states have specific rules about how bail bonds should be handled. In Massachusetts, for example, all security deposits must be placed in an interest-bearing escrow account opened in the name of the landlord and tenant. Each year, landlords must repay the interest that accrues on the tenant’s money. Interest must be paid to tenants by bank check, which depending on your bank can cost upwards of $15 to cash out — something many landlords forget to do, especially since the interest is often just pennies or dollars each year. Most residents do not realize that this policy exists, so it often falls under the radar. However, if you go to court in a housing dispute unrelated to this tenant, the tenant can challenge how you collected and handled their security deposit. In some states, this automatically results in treble damages regardless of the outcome of the other litigation. This is one of the most expensive legal mistakes made by landlords and property managers, so make sure you avoid it! Hiring a resident as a property manager sounds good enough. If a tenant lives on-site and is generally willing to help with property maintenance and other management tasks, why not take a break on rent and save on property management fees? In fact, the risk is not worth it. Here’s a story from a landlord we’ve worked with in the past: When he played football in college, according to NCAA guidelines, he couldn’t get paid work while on the team. However, he still needed some money, so he made a deal with the landlord: he would be the property manager for a 14-unit property with a $500 discount on the monthly rent. It seemed like a win-win situation until a massive fire broke out on the property. Find Portland Oregon Property Management here
Contact Property Management Systems today for professional property management in Portland, Oregon, call (503) 515-3170 or click here to contact us online. We are committed to respecting your privacy rights and protecting your information when you visit or use our Services.
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