Being a landlord can oftentimes be both a blessing and a burden. Owning property and collecting rent checks every month can constitute a great investment, generating income that you wouldn’t have otherwise. On the other hand, being liable for a number of potential outcomes at your property – even when you aren’t there – and your responsibility to maintain the property as livable can both represent ongoing challenges.
The main concern for most landlords, aside from keeping their tenants happy, is to make sure they are as liability-free as possible. While a landlord can’t do away with every liability, they can take certain actions to ensure that any property risk on their part is minimized. Here’s a brief guide for landlords to become as free of liability as they can.
Focus Your Efforts On Where Liability Remains
A landlord is responsible for maintaining a safe and quality property for their tenants, as well as honoring any promises made in the lease agreement with said tenants. These are responsibilities that cannot be skirted, though the individual responsibilities of many landlords vary on a state-by-state basis. It’s important that landlords know what they need to provide for their tenants before they begin a rental agreement – this will help them focus on where the liability remains, but getting help from a lawyer is essential for this contracts, and there are even option online and you can see here to get the right help for this.
Because ownership is retained by the landlord, it is the landlord (or the landlord’s LLC) that will be held liable for any damage or harm done at the fault of the property. For instance, a shoddy walkway that leads to injury can mean that a landlord is liable for damages, so if you need an injury a lawyer you could get services as Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC to help with his.
That’s why it’s important for landlords to focus on what they have to provide by law – without that basic structure in place, most landlords will simply not be able to hold on to tenants very long. Long-term maintenance is not always required as a part of these rules, but individual problems will need to be addressed immediately, including in the case of injury accidents, where the use of the right lawyers is essential and can be found in sites like https://www.spauldinginjurylaw.com/areas-served/lawrenceville/personal-injury-attorney/.
Avoiding Liabilities with an Ounce of Prevention
There are two essential strategies that landlords can use to avoid liabilities and potential lawsuits based on their property:
- Ensure that the building is fully up to code before a rental agreement is final. This is the “ounce of prevention” strategy. It means that you can avoid any liability by making sure there’s nothing wrong with the property even before any potential tenants move in. Because these checkups will be more difficult to handle on a tenant’s schedule, it’s a good idea to handle this when the property is vacant.
- Addressing issues quickly. Many tenants are understanding of problems and liabilities if landlords are quick to address the issue and open in their communication with their tenants. Sending someone over to a property to address a broken water heater, for example, will help reduce any potential complaint that a tenant has to make against the owner.
In many ways, avoiding liabilities as a landlord is simply about common sense: maintain a strong property and make sure that problems – especially with tenants – do not fester.