After You Rent

Your duties as a landlord does not end after you have found tenants. Your rights and responsibilities vary from state-to-state, but generally, as a landlord you have a duty to do the following:

  1. To comply with current applicable building and housing codes;
  2. Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the rental premises in a fit and habitable condition;
  3. Keep all common areas in safe condition;
  4. Maintain in good, safe working order, and promptly repair all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances which you have supplied or are required by your agreement or any law to supply after you have been notified by the tenant of any defects in writing (in emergencies such notice does not have to be in writing).
  5. To provide and install battery­operated or electrical smoke detectors and to place new batteries in a battery­operated smoke detector at the beginning of the lease.

You must perform any other duties required by your rental agreement. You may also be required to allow a tenant with a disability to modify the premises and accommodate that tenant`s needs. Except in emergencies, you must notify your tenants in writing of any breaches by the tenant of duties imposed on him by law.  As a landlord, some states might also require you to do the following:

  1. Provide running water and reasonable amounts of hot water and heat, unless the hot water and heat are supplied by an installation that is under the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility hook-up.
  2. Provide garbage cans and arrange for trash removal
  3. Give at least 24 hours notice, unless it is an emergency, before entering a tenant’s unit, and enter only at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner.
  4. Evict the tenant when informed by a law enforcement officer of drug activity by the tenant, a member of the tenant’s household, or a guest of the tenant occurring in or otherwise connected with the tenant’s premises.