3 Things You Need To Know Before Listing Your Property For Rent

Many people buy houses and other property as a means of investment. They can not only pay the mortgage payment from renting the property out to someone, but they can eventually earn a significant profit as well. Unfortunately, not knowing enough about real estate law can cause problems for landlords. Here are three things you need to know before listing your property for rent.

1. Property zoning laws.

As a potential landlord, you need to have a fairly decent understanding of property zoning laws and how they affect your property. There are three different categories: residential, commercial, and industrial. However, most properties are either zoned as residential or commercial.

If your property is zoned for residential use only, then it can't be used for commercial purposes. For instance, if you have a house that isn't zoned for commercial use, you can't rent it out to someone who plans to use it for a dental office. The good news is that you can petition for your property's zoning classification to be changed. You are not guaranteed that it will be changed, but a real estate attorney can help you make your case to the local zoning officials.

2. Building codes.

Another big issue that landlords face is making sure their houses and buildings are up to code. This is important for all property rentals, but in many jurisdictions it is less a concern for commercial leases than it is for residential ones.

Still, even if your city or state doesn't requires the renter of a commercial property to carry more responsibility for the building being up to code, it is still a good idea for the landlord to see to it that everything is in order.  

If you are renting out a home, however, you will need to make sure the home doesn't need any major repairs before you rent it out, as well as keep on top of any future repairs that are needed. In a lot of places, if a you fail to make major repairs after a tenant informs you of the problem, your tenant can refuse to pay rent and sue you if you continue ignoring their repair requests.

3. Rental agreements.

The rental agreement between you and the renter is very important. You need to make sure it covers you, the landlord, plus it needs to clearly spell out what the renter is responsible for. It needs to have the name of the landlord and the name of who is renting the property, among other important details.

If you have specific rules, such as no pets allowed, they need to be stated explicitly in the rental agreement - as well as what will happen if the renter is found to be in violation of the rules. Since a rental agreement is a legally binding contract, it is a good idea to have a real estate lawyer draft it for you so that you know it is done correctly.

In fact, a lawyer with knowledge about real estate laws can be helpful for many aspects of owning and renting a home, so consider keeping in touch with one so you have help if anything goes wrong.