Whether you are a new or a longtime landlord, there are many things you must understand and for which to prepare. There is a great amount of responsibility in being a landlord of residential property. Among the duties include maintenance and security of the property, collecting rent checks, paying taxes, maintaining records and finding tenants.
You also must understand that there are a few things you cannot do, too, such as unlawfully evicting someone and denying renting to someone because of their race. Remember, there are landlord-tenant laws in place for a reason.
Discriminate, illegally evict
Here are three things that a landlord cannot do:
- Enter a tenant’s apartment unless providing proper notice, usually 24 hours. No pop-ins, no entrances when tenants are away even though this is the landlord’s property. The landlord’s notice must be in writing and explain the reason for entering. (Tenants cannot deny access if a landlord provides proper notice.)
- Discriminate against tenants and prospective tenants is against that the federal law known as the Fair Housing Act. This law protects people seeking to rent or buy a home along with obtaining a mortgage and pursuing housing assistance. A landlord cannot discriminate based on race, religion, gender, disability, family status and national origin.
- Randomly evict someone before the expiration of the lease. In Missouri, landlords must provide the tenant with a month’s notice regarding eviction. Other related factors include a landlord cannot suddenly lock out a tenant from the property or turn off the utilities.
Pursuing such illegal measures opens a landlord to hefty fines and potential legal action. Understand the tenets of being a landlord and closely follow them. Avoid mistakes that could harm you.