Marcia Stewart wrote and edited Nolo books on landlord-tenant law, real estate, and other consumer issues. She co-authored the first and several subsequent editions of Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, Every Landlord's Legal Guide, First-Time Landlord, Every Tenant's Legal Guide, Leases and Rental Agreements, and Renters' Rights. She edited dozens of Nolo books, including The Women's Small Business Start-Up Kit.
Articles By Marcia Stewart
When it comes to rental housing, both landlords and tenants have certain legal rights and responsibilities, most of which fall under state law. Tenant rights vary (often dramatically) from state to state, and sometimes by city (especially in localities with rent control). In general, state laws spell out tenant rights in several areas, and typically include:
Washington landlords must follow a variety of state rules when renting out property to tenants—for example, you must provide advance notice before entering a rental unit. Your lease or rental agreement is the place to spell out the details of the landlord-tenant relationship and your respective rights and responsibilities.
If you’re concerned about environmental contamination or pollution in a commercial rental space (perhaps prior tenants used toxic materials), you’ll want to do some homework before signing a lease.
State laws vary in terms of the specifics you’ll need to include in your rental documents. For example, Georgia requires more notice (60 days) for landlord to terminate a rental agreement than most states do.
Virginia landlords must follow many state laws when renting out apartments or other residential property. Your lease or rental agreement is a key legal document between landlord and tenant, full of crucial business details that are governed by state law.
Texas, like all states, has very specific rules that landlords need to know follow when renting out residential property, such as when and how you must return deposits (in Texas, you have 30 days after then tenancy ends, and you must itemize any deductions).
Pennsylvania landlords must comply with specific state rules when it comes to renting out property. Here are some of the most important items you’ll want to cover in your Pennsylvania lease or rental agreement.
Landlords in the state of Oregon must comply with specific state laws when it comes to renting out residential rental property. For example, Oregon allows landlords to allocate utility and service costs pay among tenants, and you may add a surcharge for certain utility costs.
State law in Ohio covers many aspects of the landlord-tenant relationship that are spelled out in leases and rental agreements. To avoid confusion, Ohio leases and rental agreements should be clear on all details.
As in all states, New Jersey landlords must comply with state law when preparing leases and rental agreements, such as how much notice you must give to end or change a rental agreement (30 days under New Jersey law). And if you own rental property in one of the hundred New Jersey communities with rent control, additional rules will apply.