What are Your Landlord Rights?

Knowing your landlord rights is the first thing you must learn as a rental property owner. Learn what are your landlord legal rights in the United States.

The Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (and its amendments) governs your rights as a landlord for the following U.S. states:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington

*The other states (including California and Texas) also model their landlord tenant laws closely on this Act.

And since the full text of this Act contains 40 pages of legalese, we have taken the time to reword the main points into plain English here. Before we begin, it's important to note that this only applies to residential properties.

Landlord Legal Rights for Security Deposit

The landlord has the right to ask the tenant for a security deposit - Click here to find out the maximum security deposit amount for your state.

The landlord is allowed to make deductions to the security deposit for unpaid rent and property damages caused by the tenant's abuse and negligence. This deduction must be made within 14 days upon the end of the lease and the landlord must provide an itemized list of security deposit deductions in writing to the tenant.

Landlord Rights for Property Maintenance

It is your rights as a landlord to request that the tenant maintains the rented premises in a safe and clean condition.

All rubbish and trash have to be disposed by the tenant in a proper and regular manner.

The tenant is not allowed to damage, vandalize, misuse or remove any part of the property (whether it's intentional or negligent). This includes using any fixtures, furnishings and appliances for unintended purposes (e.g. using the stairs as a skateboard ramp).

If the tenant's abuse, negligence or failure to maintain the property results in a health or safety hazard, the landlord may send the tenant a written notice stating the damage and requiring the tenant to make repairs or replacements.

Upon receiving this notice, the tenant will have to take corrective action within 14 days... or else the landlord will be allowed into the premises to make repairs and bill the tenant for immediate payment.

Disclaimer: While we make every effort to update this guide, always consult the law text on your state government website before making any legal decisions. If you have any questions, Click here to ask a professional real estate lawyer.

NEXT: Landlord Rights for Property Entry and Lease Termination