Is Your Rental Legal?
In theory, property rental is simple. A bit of cleanup, a listing for duplexes for rent in the local classifieds, and you’ve practically got a license to print money…right? Well, not exactly. In fact, if you’re not careful about the legal issues around property management in Rockford IL, you could be setting yourself up for a difficult and expensive lesson in what not to do when renting out a property. Since you don’t want that, let’s explore the legalities of rental properties.
Common Legal Issues for Landlords
It’s one thing to have an investment property in Rockford. It’s something else again to protect that investment. Four main areas require your close attention.
Your lease agreement sets expectations—yours for your tenant, and what they, in turn, can expect from you. A good lease agreement spells out the entire rental process from start to finish, including credit checks, security deposits, fees for pets, penalties for damages, smoking policies, accommodations for individuals with disabilities, and much more. It may be a cliche that an oral contract isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, but there’s more than a bit of truth in the saying; for the best protection, put everything in writing.
State and local laws spell out landlords’ responsibilities for property upkeep as well. Who’s responsible for which repairs, the timeframe in which they must be completed, the people by whom those repairs should be conducted (and whether they’re licensed, bonded, and insured), and the quality of their workmanship are all governed by a maze of rules and regulations. Failure to comply can result in fines and penalties, as well as the loss of revenue.
We all want to be blessed with great tenants. But that’s not always the case. Whether it’s trash piling up on your property, a dog that barks at all hours of the day and night, parties and loud music that wake the neighborhood, or a meth lab in the garage, the activities that take place on your rental property can spill out into the wider world and cause you no end of problems. When that happens, it helps to have a property manager act as a buffer between the tenants, the owner/investor, and other complainants.
Breach of Contract
Even a diligent owner or property manager can face issues over breach of contract, whether they involve past due rent, property damage, or any number of other activities that put renters in breach of contract. Because laws exist to protect owners and tenants alike, even simple disputes can drag on for weeks, months, or years; the experience brought to bear by a property manager ensures that the financial and opportunity costs are minimized.
Property Management Services in the Rockford Area
There are two things you absolutely should not do when it comes to resolving legal issues with tenants. One is relying on mass-market legal templates when it comes to drawing up important contracts and agreements; these aren’t nearly as state or municipality-specific as they need to be for your protection.
The other is not to represent yourself when it comes to legal matters since, as the old saying goes, someone who represents themselves in court has a fool for a client. Harsh as that may sound, there’s more than a bit of truth to it. There’s a lot riding on these legal issues, not least of which are your finances and your good name. So to ensure you stay on the right side of the law come what may get in touch with Superior Realtors and Rental Properties today.