Unlawful Actions That a Landlord May Take Even Without Realizing It

There are honest landlords, there are bad landlords, and there are inexperienced landlords. Whether you are buying your first rental property or you have been a landlord for years, understanding what you can and cannot legally do is essential to your success. Weighing an action earlier will prevent a world of trouble later.

Legal and Illegal Actions

Declining to rent to somebody because of poor credit or references is acceptable, but speak to an attorney before declining for other reasons.

But landlords cannot lock tenants out of their dwellings without first obtaining a writ for possession, even though they have not paid rent in months.

Increasing the rent is OK. At certain times and intervals raise it y specific percentages, therefore check your state’s code to make sure your intervals are withing legal boundaries.

But, you cannot retaliate against tenants for grumbling regarding unlivable conditions.

Landlords will deduct from security deposits for damage done by the tenant, not for moderate wear and tear. But landlords cannot enter a rented dwelling without providing valid notice, except in case of emergencies.

The notices needed by the code of civil procedure 1162 and 1161 could also be served, either:

  1. By delivering a copy to the tenant personally; or,
  1. If he or she is not present at his or her place of residence, leaving a copy with some person of appropriate age and discretion at either location, and sending a copy through certified mail self-addressed to the tenant at his or her place of residence; or,
  1. If a person of appropriate age or discretion cannot be found, then affix a copy in a conspicuous place on the property, and send a copy through the mail addressed to the tenant at the rental address. Service upon a subtenant could also be done within the same manner.

Nonpayment of Rent

Landlords would want to avoid an extended eviction process—which will typically take as long as two months. They want to avoid the danger that the tenant pays the rent due once he gets to court but stops paying once more right after the court date. For whatever reason, you cannot merely lock your tenant out of the rental. Instead, you need to move through correct legal steps and take him to court to get an eviction order first.

Problem Tenants

Tenants usually cause issues at the rental property, like troubling or harassing different tenants, conducting prohibited activities out of their lodging, or breaking various clauses of the lease. Again, you need to evict through the system. You cannot take illegal action on your own.

Tenant Complaints

A landlord would possibly try to retaliate against tenants who have created complaints regarding the rental property to a public agency. The tenant may need to file a grievance against the landlord and file a proper claim with the municipality or state. In either case, you cannot react by hiking the rent or filing an eviction action. You cannot harass the tenant or create bad living conditions, therefore making it so uncomfortable that the tenant leaves the property, like by refusing to create necessary repairs.

You Want to Charge Much Rent

Sometimes a landlord desires a tenant out of the rental property. Therefore, he will charge a lot of rent to a new tenant than he is presently obtaining for the unit. This happens typically with rent-stabilized residences or residences wherever protected tenants reside.

The rent will solely be increased by a certain proportion annually in rent-stabilized residences. Therefore a tenant who has been there for 15 years may well be paying far below value for the unit. Protected tenants are similar in that you will solely increase the rent by a precise proportion annually. These tenants cannot be evicted aside from particular reasons.

You Do Not Want to Rent to Certain tenants

You cannot try and stop bound tenants from renting your property—this potentially falls into the area of discrimination. A landlord would possibly value more highly to keep the property adults-only. Or the landlord may not wish people of a certain race or religion living there. The landlord may possibly want to avoid creating reasonable accommodations and renovations to the property for a tenant with a disability.

Refusing to rent for any of those reasons is unlawful and might open you up to a significant lawsuit. A landlord is legally answerable for following fair housing laws.