Untitled12-300x214As a land owner, you can be sure about encountering your share of legal issues. That is why it is a good idea to have a competent attorney by your side before getting into the landlord business. But before you go and get yourself an attorney or new tenants, it’ll be helpful for you to have your own understanding of the landlord laws, legal obligations and responsibilities that you should perform. Here are some little landlord laws that you must know before signing a lease :

Federal Laws

There are two major laws that affect landlords.

  1. Fair Housing Act : This federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion, family status or disability. Discrimination can be anything from asking for additional deposit amount, denying lease to get higher rent or offering different services. It also prohibits landlords from making their property exclusive to a certain group.
  2. Fair Credit Reporting Act : It controls the use of credit information provided by the tenant.

State Laws

State laws can vary according to the legal requirements. Such laws typically control practical issues like, what terms could be set by the landlord, what rights do the tenant and landlord have and how evictions can be done.


Tenants have the right to ask the landlord for the maintenance of the building and its plumbing and electrical systems. Any failure to arrange for repairs or to support an appropriate standard of living might leave you liable. Exceptions occur only at times when the damage has been done by the tenants. Other than these, rules for different states and local buildings vary.

Privacy rights

Generally, an owner or a landlord is not supposed to enter the property except for times when there is an emergency or to make repairs. Unless invited, landlord should not visit the property and cause unnecessary disturbance to the tenants.