Putting a home up for rent could be an avenue to easy, endless income or arduous, unceasing headaches. Much of your fate as a landlord will depend on your ability to select the right tenants. Some landlords get greedy or frustrated with a tough market and accept the first potential renter they come across, but those who know what they’re doing make careful choices.
Do you rent? Better know your rights. Here’s a state-by-state guide with links to statutes for both landlords and tenants. If you want to negotiate down your rent, get a drippy ceiling fixed, fight an eviction, or squelch a noisy neighbor, first bone up on your renter law.
An Oregon landlord refuses to let his tenants install air conditioners because he thinks they “look tacky.” Tenants of the Arbor Creek complex in Aloha who choose to sacrifice aesthetics for comfort have ten days to correct their mistake before facing eviction. One tenant’s kid already landed in the hospital thanks to heat stroke.
How do you get your landlord to require the upstairs neighbors to put down carpets? A lawyer who “has practiced in the landlord-tenant arena for more than two decades” has been answering these sorts of questions on the New York Times’ “City Room” blog. The advice he gives, while helpful and specific, is mostly based on what we imagine are NYC-specific problems and cites New York statutes, but it still might be helpful for renters elsewhere with similar problems.
Stephen O’Brien wants to buy a foreclosed apartment building on Warwick Street in Roxbury. He wants to keep the ground-floor tenant, James Evans, 77, who is partially blind and living on Social Security.