An Overview of Landlord Rights: What Landlords Are Not Allowed to Do

If you’re interested in becoming a landlord, it’s important to know your rights. After all, being a landlord comes with a lot of responsibility. Not only do you have to worry about the property itself, but you also have to deal with tenants. And as we all know, dealing with tenants can be a challenge.

One of the most important things to know as a landlord is what you’re not allowed to do. This is important for two reasons. First, if you’re not aware of your rights, you could end up breaking the law. Second, you could end up getting taken advantage of by your tenants.

The more you understand both your rights and responsibilities as a landlord, the better you can protect yourself, your property investment, and the welfare of your tenants.

Here is an overview of landlord rights, including what landlords are NOT allowed to do:

It’s Illegal for Landlords to Discriminate Against Protected Classes

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing. This means that landlords cannot refuse to rent to someone based on their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. Some states and localities have enacted their own laws that protect additional classes of people, such as those who are LGBTQ+.

For example, it’s illegal for a landlord to refuse to rent to someone purely because they have children. Similarly, a landlord cannot require a higher security deposit from a tenant with a disability or make any housing decisions that discriminate against someone based on their national origin.

In other words, landlords must treat all potential tenants the same, regardless of any protected characteristics. If a landlord is found to have discriminated against a tenant or potential tenant, they could be subject to legal action.

Landlords Cannot Retaliate Against Tenants

There are certain things that tenants are legally allowed to do, such as file a complaint about the condition of the property or exercise their right to quiet enjoyment. And while landlords may not like it when tenants do these things, they’re not allowed to retaliate against them.

Retaliation is any action that a landlord takes against a tenant in response to the tenant exercising their legal rights. For example, if a tenant files a complaint about the condition of the property, the landlord cannot evict them in retaliation. Similarly, if a tenant complains about noise from a neighboring unit, the landlord cannot raise their rent in response.

Don’t worry – there are legal ways to deal with problem tenants. Retaliation may seem like an easy way to deal with difficult tenants, but it’s actually illegal and can result in serious consequences for landlords.

Landlords Cannot Enter Units Without Proper Notice

Another important right that tenants have is the right to privacy. This means that landlords cannot enter units without proper notice and permission. In most cases, landlords are required to provide 24 hours’ notice before entering a unit, except in cases of emergency.

Some states have laws that require landlords to provide even more notice, such as 48 hours or 72 hours. And in some cases, landlords may be required to provide notice in writing.

Just because you own the property doesn’t mean you can come and go as you please. The moment you signed the lease, your tenant’s unit became their home, and they have a right to privacy.

Landlords Cannot Shut Off Utilities

Basic utilities, such as water, electricity, and gas, are considered to be essential services. This means that landlords cannot shut off utilities, even if a tenant is behind on rent.

Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if a tenant is damaging the property or putting themselves or others in danger, the landlord may be able to shut off utilities as a way to stop the problem. But in most cases, this is not legally allowed because it’s considered retaliation.

Landlords Are Not Allowed to Raise Rent Without Notice

Raising rent is an inevitable part of rental property management in Denver as It’s a way to keep up with inflation or offset the cost of repairs and maintenance. But there are rules that landlords must follow when it comes to raising rent.

Before a landlord can raise rent, they must provide notice to the tenant. The amount of notice required varies from state to state, but it’s typically 30 days. In some cases, landlords may be required to provide 60 days’ notice or even more.

As for the amount, there is no limit to how much landlords can raise rent. However, the increase must be reasonable. For example, an increase of $50 per month is probably reasonable, but an increase of $500 per month for a studio apartment is not.

Final Thoughts

Renting out your property can be a great way to earn extra income, but it also comes with serious responsibilities. As a landlord, you must abide by the law and treat your tenants fairly. This doesn’t just keep you out of trouble – it’s also the best way to maintain peace and harmony in your rental community.

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