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Home Renters, Do You Know the Local Laws?

Home Renters, Do You Know the Local Laws? Legal Concerns Renting Your Home in the Houston/Galveston Area

Do you have a home for rent in the Bay Area? Clear Lake, League City, Dickinson, Friendswood, Pearland, Pasadena, Deer Park, and La Porte cover several counties including Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, and Fort Bend. Each city and county has its own deed restrictions and property codes landlords must know and follow to be in accordance with the local and state laws.

These laws and property codes affect the landlord/tenant relationship and defines the rights and responsibilities of each party. Violating health codes, utility provisions, and other safety codes could put you at risk. For instance, what kinds of questions may you ask when interviewing tenants? What background checks should you utilize? What licenses and requirements does the state, counties, and cities require for maintenance workers? Can you just hire a non-licensed handyman?  What about smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? What kind and how much security are you required to provide your tenants? What laws cover late rent and eviction? What are yours and your tenants’ rights when it comes time to reimburse or keep the deposit? These are just a few legal matters you need to understand before renting out your home.

How do you make sure you comply with state and local laws regarding tenants and residential rental property? You can purchase lease agreements, but they are general and do not include all codes pertaining to rental property based on your rental area. To ensure you do not end up in a lawsuit or fined by the city or county, you would need to hire expensive real estate lawyers to check and edit your lease agreement so that it complies with state and local laws regarding maintenance, rent collection, evictions, inspections, notification of tenant for landlord to enter the property, security deposits, and many other details pertaining to property rental. Lawyers can be extremely expensive ($100-$300), and the legal work is very time consuming. In addition, because you are no longer the primary resident of the home, homeowners’ insurance does not provide for property loss, damage, or injury for your tenants, so you would need investment property insurance for your home instead. Therefore, you would also need to speak with an insurance agent to find out what your liability costs would be and how much insurance you need in case you are found to be negligent in providing necessary utilities, using unauthorized maintenance personnel, or exercising your rights to collect rent or evict tenants.

So, renting your home can be profitable, but in unexperienced hands, it can be costly as well. Make sure you either familiarize yourself with the laws and hire professionals to ensure you are in compliance with all laws pertaining to your rental property. Better yet, just hire Real Property Management Prestige to take care of all these details for you. Then you can sit back knowing your rental property is in good hands and your legal liability is minimized.


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