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Real estate laws will vary depending on the state in which you live. There are a few laws however, that are designed to govern the relationships between landlords and tenants and to instruct parties on what needs to be done if an issue arises that causes conflict. If you are a landlord, there are a few laws that you should be aware of.
Whenever you rent a property to someone else, you are entering into a legal and binding contract. You as landlord have the right to receive rent in exchange for your tenant using your property. You also have the right to expect that property to remain undamaged and to be returned in the same shape as it was originally rented minus the normal depreciation.
As landlord you are also required to respect your tenants’ rights and this includes rights to legally use your property without interference from you, provided the property is being used for the intended purpose and rent is being paid at the appropriate time. You must also provide your tenants with some basic amenities and these amenities will depend on the state in which you live. Many states require that access to heat, running water, maintenance and other necessities be provided.
You are not permitted to retaliate against tenants by shutting off utilities or by increasing their rent or having them evicted. If a tenant does not pay rent as agreed, you can evict them but certain instances like tenants filing complaints with authorities over living conditions or joining tenants unions do not permit you to seek retaliation. If the tenant has delayed paying rent for more than seven days, you can take legal action to have them evicted but in your best interest, you should do so through the court system. A qualified and experienced real estate attorney can better assist you with having tenants evicted who do not pay their rent as agreed.