Being a landlord isn’t all fun and games. There’s way more to the job than simply collecting that monthly rent check and depositing it in the bank. In fact, there are lots of laws and practices to which Los Angeles landlords must adhere. The following will help you understand some of what is involved.
A recent report helps clarify some of these laws and practices, and how important they are in maintaining a legal business. That’s right. Renting your property is a business, so if you’re not running yours that way, you’d best seek some guidance to get all matters up to speed.
It’s imperative that L.A. landlords comply with California’s anti-discrimination laws. That doesn’t mean you have to rent to anyone who fills out an application. In fact, you can turn down prospective renters on the basis of bad or no credit. You aren’t allowed, however, to discriminate based upon race, religion, nationality, whether or not they have children under the age of 18, sex, and physical or mental disabilities. In addition, landlords can’t discriminate on one’s sexual orientation, their gender identity, or whether or not they are currently receiving any type of public assistance.
Don’t Rely Solely on State Law
Los Angeles landlords, as well as those owning and renting out properties in one of the 16 cities with rent control, must adhere to local rules. While these mostly apply to terminating a rental agreement for nonpayment and late fees, there are others that landlords must be familiar with as well. These include when rent is due, how it is paid (check, money order, etc.), how much can be charged if a check bounces, and how much notice a landlord must provide a tenant if he or she is raising the rent.
Tina Turner sang it and L.A. landlords must exercise it—respect. They must respect their tenant’s privacy. This means they can’t simply show up and gain entrance to the rental property. They must provide their tenant with 24 hours’ notice—48 hours for a move-out inspection.
Leave a Paper Trail
It’s important for L.A. landlords to leave a legal paper trail of all repairs performed within the rental property. That way if a tenant files a claim of unsafe living conditions against a landlord, he or she has evidence to the contrary. Do not, however, retaliate against the tenant in any way. Simply rely upon the paper trail to prove you made any necessary repairs/improvements to ascertain safe living.
Know Your Rights
Not all the laws pertaining to landlords in Los Angeles are protective of the tenant. There are solid laws that protect the landlords as well. Government agencies including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing provide pertinent information for landlords. It is important to familiarize oneself with these laws and know the rights that are firmly in place for L.A. landlords. Keeping the numbers to these agencies handy can prove invaluable.
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