Landlord Liability for Dog Bites

July, 2020

Is a landlord liable when a tenant’s dog bites someone? The concern about landlord liability for injury to persons caused by a tenant’s dog often underlies a landlord’s decision whether to allow pets on the rental property. A landlord does have a valid concern about dog bite liability. The number of dog bite claims increases […]


Are warning notices effective?

July, 2020

A warning notice, oral or written, may be appropriate for a tenant’s first time violation of a lease term or condition that is not a material default of the lease or a potential threat to neighbors or property. A tenant whose previous behaviors have never been a problem may be responsive to an oral request […]


Are landlords legally required to provide air conditioning at rental properties?

July, 2020

A landlord will need to research state landlord-tenant statutes and local city and county ordinances specific to the location of the rental property to determine whether air conditioning must be provided by law. States and local jurisdictions may address the issue differently depending upon whether air conditioning is considered an essential service required by the […]


What are some of the ways a landlord can control moisture issues to help prevent mold in rental units?

July, 2020

A visual inspection of the rental property exterior and interior spaces is one of the most effective ways to detect a moisture problem and/or the presence of mold. Although visual signs of mold are not always obvious, the musty smell of mold is another way to discover moisture problems. Mold can grow on the hidden […]


Pet Policies

July, 2020

A landlord’s business decision to allow pets on rental premises is an individualized assessment of potential risk of property damage and increased risk of liability for injuries caused by pet behaviors. Pet behaviors, such as chewing, scratching, and marking interior surfaces like carpets, flooring, and woodwork can cause serious property damage. Exterior landscaping can be […]


Rental Applications

July, 2020

The rental application is one of many tenant screening tools to assess potential risk of lease default by an applicant. Risk assessment is an essential management practice in making an informed business decision to offer tenancy. A rental application is the most efficient means to gather preliminary information about a prospective tenant to begin the […]


I think my tenant may have moved in a “guest”. What is the best way to handle this?

July, 2020

You should first understand the issue before taking an action. Can you verify by independent means or firsthand observation that the tenant has moved in a permanent guest? As example, has the guest conducted himself as a tenant, i.e., receiving mail at the rental address, moved personal property into the unit, or keep a regular […]


My tenant’s lease expired two months ago. He continued to pay rent and I accepted the rent. Now I wonder about our status as landlord and tenant. Did the lease just automatically renew when he paid rent?

July, 2020

If a tenant stays past the lease expiration date, the tenant has held over. Your state or city may address the issue of a tenant holding over by statute or ordinance. If so, you will be governed by what the statute or ordinance says. Your lease may have a clause that addresses holdover and appropriate […]


What is a risk mitigation fee?

July, 2020

A risk mitigation fee is a fee paid by a rental applicant to the landlord as a requirement for conditional approval for tenancy. The risk management fee is nonrefundable and is in addition to the landlord’s required security deposit fee. A landlord may be willing to rent with conditions to an applicant who does not […]


Rents, Fees, and Deposits

July, 2020

Landlords set their rents, fees and deposits in accordance with applicable state statutes, local ordinances and business necessity. In jurisdictions not governed by rent control or rent stabilization regulations, landlords may set any rent amount they choose taking into account what the local rental market will bear. In practice, landlords are advised to set rents […]