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Landlord-Tenant Law

Free «Landlord-Tenant Law» Essay Sample

The legal relationship between a landlord and a tenant is bound by a contract agreement and guided by the property law. Landlords focus on attaining and maintaining a profitable relationship while they still hold their businesses reputable. Tenants also need to know and secure their rights as they get into business with their landlords. The rental occupant acquires property ownership for the duration of lease only. The relationship between the tenant and the landlord is determined by their behavior towards each other and the execution of each other’s duties. The landlord and tenant must maintain a peaceful relationship and execute each one’s responsibilities while respecting each other’s rights to avoid many lawful incidences and other key issues.

Responsibilities of a Tenant

The following are the functions of Roger, the tenant in this case. Roger is required to perform the following responsibilities to maintain a therapeutic relationship with his landlord.

Paying Rent on Time

A tenant should pay rent to a landlord within an agreed time. Therefore, the expected amount for a certain period is to be paid by Roger on time. This amount is usually determined before the tenant occupies the rented apartment or house. A tenant is legible for fines if they do not pay the expected rent before a set deadline (Rasila, 2010). In this case, Roger has successfully performed his responsibility by paying the agreed amount of rent every month.

Reporting Damages

It is the responsibility of the tenant to report to the landlord whenever a repair is needed and this repair is not to fix the damage from the tenant. If a tenant discovers any damage or broken surfaces, they should report about them to the landlord and request for repairs. Roger has also been responsible by continuously informing Larry about the leaking roof and the need for a repair.

Repairing Personal Damage

However, it is Roger’s obligation to repair any damage caused by him, his friends, or his relatives. He is the inhabitant of the house, and any damage he causes should be repaired by him. Moreover, if the damage is big enough, the landlord ought to be notified so that they could plan for a repair (Dillahunt, Mankoff, & Paulos, 2010). In this case, Roger damaged the wall and the electric socket in an angry outburst. Therefore, he ought to make those repairs.

Responsibilities of the Landlord

Larry, as the landlord, also has specific responsibilities that he must fulfill to maintain a good customer relationship with his tenants.

Responsibility Regarding Repairs

Larry is obligated to ensure that repairs are made in his rental houses. In such a way, he makes sure that the rental houses are in a comfortable condition, according to the initial agreement with a tenant. By leasing his property, Larry gave Roger ownership to the property and the right to utilize it for the duration of rental. Thus, Larry has the responsibility to guarantee that every property and aspect of the leased house is intact. This involves ensuring that the roof, chimneys, drains, gutters, gas and water supply are intact and in a working condition (Rasila, 2010). In less than 24 hours after the tenant’s request, the landlord ought to give a response to notify that the plans for repair are underway.

Responsibility to Keep a Clean Environment

A tenant has a right to live in a clean environment. It does not necessarily mean that the landlord must come to the tenants’ houses and clean their dishes or clothes, but it is implied that the landlord has a responsibility to ensure that trash and garbage are taken out. Common areas should be properly cleaned and always free of garbage. If a tenant has problems with rodents and even bedbugs, a landlord needs to hire a professional to eliminate such issues. Outdoor areas should be maintained clean, and outdoor bulbs must be fixed where necessary.

Rights of a Tenant

Service Animal

A tenant has a right of having a pet or pets as long as they adhere to the pet regulations, set by the landlord. Thus, a landlord cannot discriminate a tenant if the latter follow the set rules and regulations. The tenant can keep pets as long as they are permitted in the initial agreement and they do not pose any threat or disturbance to the neighbors (Portman & Stewart, 2015). This right applies only to some tenants since some landlords do not allow pets in their rental houses.

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Privacy

Just because a landlord owns a property, they are not allowed to invade the privacy of their tenants. Be it time for repairs or consultation, a notice to the latter is to be given beforehand. This reasonable amount of privacy is paramount for a good relationship (Rasila, 2010). This is an indicator that the proprietor respects their tenants. Some states have laws that govern this aspect by determining the standards on how much time before a notice should be given and whether the proprietor must tell the exact time or not.

Security Deposits

A deposit is a requirement from most landlords upon the tenant signs the leasing contract. This specific amount is usually returned to the tenant at the end of the leasing period, excluding the necessary deductions for repairs and any broken property (Hutchison, Adair, & Park, 2010). Most states have laws on the specific amount of deposit a tenant needs to pay and the amount to be returned back to them when the leasing period is over. In some instances, tenants must pay additional deposits for the things that are considered liabilities and even pets (Portman & Stewart, 2015). In case a landlord does not pay back the full deposit, it is the right of the tenant to get a full rundown on how the funds have been spent.

Rights of a Landlord

As a proprietor, the landlord has a right to set the amount of rent and additionally select who to lease their property to. It is the responsibility of a landlord to ensure any repairs, which implies their right to get their property back undamaged after the lease is over. The proprietor has a right to set pet rules and regulations on their property (Rasila, 2010). Paying rent is compulsory for a tenant, and it is the right of a proprietor to receive this payment on time. The landlord can access their property at any time to check for any need for repair. Furthermore, it is their right to do that as long as they do not invade the privacy of their tenants. The landlord has a right to neglect repairs on any damage that has been caused by the tenant and ask the latter to pay for repairs.

During the period of leasing a property, any damage that exists should be repaired by the landlord. These repairs should be done so that the property could be used by tenants. In this case, Roger told Larry about the leaking roof several times. However, Larry did not repair the roof, which was his duty and responsibility. The legal law states that whenever damage is caused to a person due to a breach of a contract, that person has a legal obligation to minimize the damage or losses (Burn & Cartwright, 2011). Thus, Roger had a right to mitigate damages in this incidence to prevent further losses. In other words, he had an obligation to take any necessary steps and actions to prevent and minimize the losses that he had incurred due to the leakage.

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Larry’s Right to Evict Roger

An inhabitant has an obligation to keep the landlord’s property safe and undamaged. However, accidents do happen, and all consequences should be fixed by the person who has caused the damage. In this instance, Larry should accept the damage caused by Roger. Some of the actions that might require eviction include the violation of the lease, lease expiration, property damage, illegal drug activity, and lastly, the nonpayment of rent (Burn & Cartwright, 2011). Roger has been a good tenant as it is shown in the case that he pays his rent on time and he has never disturbed his neighbors. Roger has damaged a drywall and socket out of anger, but that damage is not enough to warrant an eviction.

Certain laws and regulations govern property leasing by landlords. Thus, it is the responsibility of the landlord to keep the house safe. Roger told Larry about the leaking roof several times, but the latter did not respond on time. Therefore, Larry is liable according to the law to fix the direct damage, caused to Roger’s property as a result of the leaking roof. The landlord should have thought about the repair regardless of Roger renting the house because it is his responsibility. His neglect of the issue even after being alerted has caused the damage, and thus, he is directly liable for the damages caused. Roger is also responsible for damages he has caused out of anger, and he should fix them. A tenant is liable for damages caused to the property during their stay until the end of the leasing period (Burn & Cartwright, 2011). The repair of the wall should be financed by Roger either directly or through his security deposit.

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Conclusion

Landlords and landowners should ensure that rental houses are safe to guarantee the security of tenants. In the same manner, tenants should conform to their responsibilities and duties. Both sides of the agreement should be aware of their rights at all times. In the cases of unnoticed damage, the tenant should inform the landlord on where the damage is so that the latter could handle the repairs. The tenant must also secure the property and ensure that no harm is caused during the leasing period. In case such a damage occurs, it is the right of the landlord to use the security deposit of the tenant and prepare a rundown of the expenses for them. Knowledge of each other’s rights and the fulfillment of each other’s responsibilities are vital for a good relationship between the tenant and the proprietor.

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