Do you have questions about rental compliance? Or how to ensure you always stick to the rules? You’re at the right place because this article has all the answers you need.
It’s one thing to know how to invest in real estate and another to manage it properly. Most issues landlords experience with their investments are legally related but also preventable. This post briefly tackles how to simplify property management compliance for landlords. So if you want to avoid fees and criminal penalties, stick around till the end.
What is Property Management Compliance
Property management compliance refers to following industry rules and standards. That means adhering to federal, state, and local laws regarding tenant screening, tax payments, and property codes for landlords. While these policies might seem like a nuisance, it’s crucial to remember that they are often in service to safety and fairness. For example, fair housing laws that prohibit discrimination preserve every citizen’s right to live where they want. Besides maintaining the liberty of tenants, property compliance also extends to following authority standards. That would include acquiring and retaining the correct certificate for gas and electricity conditions.
Thus, every landlord’s responsibility is to familiarize themselves with these laws and meet the requirements. A responsible property management company can help you keep abreast of the latest regulations and avoid legal pitfalls.
Common Rental Compliance Requirements
Many people wonder do landlords need a rental license? While the answer is largely dependent on your jurisdiction, it is often. A rental license is a document that verifies your property meets the state’s minimum requirements. Some of the most common criteria are:
As we highlighted earlier, fair housing laws protect applicants from discrimination based on race, age, sexuality, religion, and more. Thus, it would help if you curated your tenant screening questions appropriately.
Functioning Smoke Detectors
Safety protocols require all houses to have a functional smoke detector in the event of a fire. Some states even require that you have a battery backup or integrated system just in case.
Modern Electrical System
Electricity is an essential utility, but it can also be hazardous. Without proper precautions, a tiny spark could ignite a fire. Thus, a rental home’s wiring system must adhere to all safety standards and housing codes.
After power, another essential utility is water. You need to ensure a constant and reliable water supply that meets safety standards.
Right of Quiet Enjoyment
Most state laws maintain and preserve tenant rights to property ownership and peace. In other words, renters are entitled to enjoy privacy in their home which means the landlord can’t come and go as they please. Also, that means the property owner needs to maintain a quiet and serene environment.
Ways to Simplify the Compliance Process
Develop an Efficient Financial System
Keeping your finances in check is crucial to comply with several accounting regulatory bodies. Examples include the State Real Estate Board and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Thus, you must adopt an efficient financial system to monitor your incoming and outgoing cash flow. That might involve integrating automated payment systems and using online accounting software.
Conduct Regular Inspections
Besides bookkeeping, you also need to maintain your rental property. According to law, landlords need to ensure an implied warranty of habitability. In other words, you need to ensure the utilities and structure of the home are sound at all times. The best way to do this is to conduct regular inspections, preferably with a professional. Most licensed contractors will even issue you a limited-time certificate to confirm your property meets the minimum standards.
Streamline Tenant Relations
Finally, landlords can simplify property management compliance by streamlining tenant relations. It’s much easier to keep abreast of your investment when you communicate with the people living there. Hence, you must set up a portal to facilitate tenant relations. Besides building a healthy landlord-tenant relationship, there are other areas you can smoothen. Tenant screening, lease writing, and credit reporting are parts of the tenancy cycle worth optimizing.
Why is Rental Compliance Important
Adhering to Laws and Regulations
One of the most apparent reasons to follow rental compliance is to adhere to laws and regulations. Standards set up a system of accountability for both tenants and landlords. Additionally, it protects the rights and safety of both parties. Landlords that fail to comply with such protocols risk the lives and properties of their tenants. Thus, they might face legal sanctions in the form of fines.
Maintaining Habitability of the Property
Another benefit of adhering to rental compliance is that it prevents your property from falling into disarray. Setting strict standards for maintenance preserves and ensures comfortable living conditions at all times. For example, to earn a gas safety certificate, you need to call a professional for a check. An expert ensures all your appliances usually operate and that waste gases are disposed of properly during the process. Besides being a law requirement, it provides the safety of the occupants.
That’s a wrap on how to simplify property management compliance for landlords. As a rental owner, you need to take several safety rules and protocol measures. These standards prevent you from falling into legal pitfalls while maintaining your home’s living conditions. Common rental requirements cut across utilities like gas and electricity, fair housing policy, etc. However, you can stay in line by keeping tabs on your finances, tenant relations, and regular inspections.
If you find compliance with rental property policies overwhelming, feel free to reach out to a reputable property management company that can see you through.