Landlords and property managers should educate themselves on their rights, responsibilities and the frequently changing rental legislation. As each municipality/city and province/state varies, it is important for a landlord to consult their local landlord-tenant board for their specific regulations.
There are a variety of laws regarding each step of the rental process, which starts prior to the rental unit being advertised. It is important for a landlord to consider compliance with municipal property standards, zoning by-laws, fire safety regulations, local building codes and any required rental licensing. After ensuring compliance, there are multiple pre-lease details to consider.
It is important to be aware of and avoid the use discriminatory wording. The general rule of thumb is to describe the rental unit, not the ideal tenant.
There are a variety of deposit restrictions that vary, depending on the city, state or province. Keep in mind that some of these deposits are illegal in certain areas, so always research the specific regulations for your city.
1. Rent Deposit:
The maximum amount varies per state/province and is often interest accruing. This is sometimes referred to as "last month's rent".
2. Key Deposit:
If this is allowed, it's usually “not greater than the expected direct replacement costs”, but varies per state/province as well. Once the tenant returns the keys, a landlord must refund the deposit back to the tenant.
3. Security Deposit:
If a tenant pays rent on time and keeps the rental unit in good condition, then the tenant is entitled to get the security deposit back. The maximum amount depends on the state/province. A security deposit is common within the United States and some parts of Canada.
4. Pet Deposit or Fee:
The amount of a pet deposit, pet fee, pet rent and the overall prohibiting of pets varies per area and are only legal in certain states/provinces. There are also some exceptions such as landlord or tenant allergies. Emotional support animals can be another exception and we previously provided a blog regarding the legislation per province, In many areas, service animals are not considered pets, but some require training, certification or government-issues ID cards.
Places4Students.com provides templates for landlords to download and edit. However, these documents are just samples and landlords are advised to seek legal advice when creating any agreements. All rental arrangements and lease documents must be in accordance with the local housing laws for the rental property's city or state/province.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog next week.
SEE ALSO: Keep Up-to-date on Rental Legislation - Part 2
The Places4Students.com Team