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Landlord's Legal Kit For Dummies

ISBN: 978-1-118-77519-6
408 pages
June 2014
Landlord

Description

The landlord's essential guide to residential rental law

Landlord's Legal Kit For Dummies is a comprehensive guide to the laws and legalities of renting property. This one-stop legal reference provides both guidance and the correct forms that help landlords avoid tenant issues, which could lead to legal ramifications. From screening potential tenants to handling your own insurance and taxes, you'll find expert insight in this easy-to-read style that simplifies complex legal matters into understandable terms. The book includes access to all the needed legal forms in both English and Spanish, and contains current information about applicable codes, ordinances, and policies across the country.

Landlords have a responsibility to provide a safe, fully operational home for their tenants, and oversights can result in major court settlements. As a landlord, you need to know what the law requires of you. You also need to understand your rights, and the actions available to you when the tenant is in the wrong. This resource brings you up to speed, with the most current information about residential rental property law. The book covers privacy rights, domicile laws, paperwork, and more.

  • Features up-to-date lease forms and contracts available for download online
  • Provides information about applicant screening questionnaires and anti-discrimination policies
  • Includes state and local building codes, health ordinances, and landlord-tenant laws
  • Instructs you how to handle breach of lease situations and evictions

There's even guidance on hiring a lawyer to protect your assets, property, and rights. Ignorance of the law is no excuse in court, and it frequently leads to misunderstandings that can hurt your wallet and your reputation. Before you lease another property, get all your ducks in a row with the essential instruction and tools in Landlord's Legal Kit For Dummies.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting Started with Landlording Fundamentals 5

Chapter 1: Grasping the Legal Fundamentals of Managing Residential Rentals 7

Chapter 2: Protecting Your Legal Assets 23

Chapter 3: Taking Possession of a Rental Property 41

Chapter 4: Hiring a Property Manager 59

Part II: Advertising and Taking on New Residents Legally 75

Chapter 5: Getting the Lowdown on Fair Housing 77

Chapter 6: Exploring the Legal Aspects of Advertising 99

Chapter 7: Addressing the Legalities of Rent Collection and Rent Control 111

Chapter 8: Screening Applicants: Knowing When to Approve or Reject Them 137

Chapter 9: Composing Your Rental Contract 153

Chapter 10: Establishing a Security Deposit Policy 185

Chapter 11: Moving in a New Resident 201

Part III: Recognizing Your Responsibilities and Liabilities 221

Chapter 12: Repairing and Maintaining the Premises 223

Chapter 13: Minimizing Injuries from Potentially Dangerous Conditions 245

Chapter 14: Preventing and Eliminating Hazardous Environmental Conditions 259

Chapter 15: Protecting Residents and Workers from Criminal Acts 277

Chapter 16: Understanding Resident Privacy and Your Right to Enter the Premises 297

Chapter 17: Resolving Landlord-Resident Disputes 309

Part IV: Changing and Ending Leases 321

Chapter 18: Handling Cotenancies, Sublets, Assignments, and Guests 323

Chapter 19: Revising and Terminating Rental Contracts 331

Chapter 20: Moving a Resident Out 349

Part V: The Part of Tens 357

Chapter 21: Ten Tips for Staying Out of Legal Trouble 359

Chapter 22: Ten (or So) Tips for Being a Better Landlord 365

Index 371

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Author Information

Laurence C. Harmon, JD, is the CEO of HARMONLAW LLC, specializing in apartment-related legal and property management consulting.

Robert S. Griswold, MBA, MSBA, is a successful real estate investor and property manager with a large portfolio of residential and commercial rental properties.

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