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As a responsible landlord who adheres to federal, local, and state laws, there are things that you need to disclose to a new tenant or put in the lease. Any piece of information you share with a renter is termed as “disclosure.” Failure to provide the disclosures required by the law can have you end up paying fines or facing charges. To give you a clear picture, I have outlined the disclosures in this article. Read on and use them to your advantage.
If your rental property was built before 1987, you need to inform new tenants of the presence of lead-based paint. Lead is highly toxic and causes serious health issues especially to fetuses and children. At high levels, lead can cause death. Lead-based paint is commonly found in areas such as window frames and the exterior wall of your rental unit.
Make sure that you disclose this to your tenant before he signs the lease. In addition, you need to provide the tenant a copy of the pamphlet, “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home.” This document is issued by the government. Access the document online by following this link. It provides complete information to tenants about the dangers of lead and the steps they can take to prevent health hazards.
What if a tenant died in the rental unit within the last three years? Yes, this is another piece of information to disclose to a new tenant. Furthermore, specify how the previous tenant died – whether suicide, homicide, or by natural means. It is, however, not mandated by the law that you indicate that the tenant’s death was caused by AIDS.
Although previous tenant death has no effect on the physical state of your rental unit, even if it has been cleaned as repaired accordingly, most states realize that death has a psychological impact on the unit. For example, a tenant may feel that he doesn’t want to live in the property despite the fact that nothing is wrong with it at a physical level. His senses may be telling him that there is something off about the unit that is making him feel uncomfortable.
Asbestos is a common material that is found in buildings and residential properties that have been built before 1981. Long-term and unsafe exposure to asbestos cause fibrotic lung disease, lung cancer, and heart problems. What most people know is that asbestos is commonly found in siding, roofing, ceilings, and walls. However, take note that it can also be found in old ovens and tiles.
Living in a rental unit with asbestos has no direct health effects unless some remodeling or tampering will take place. This causes the fibers to be released and inhaled.
One day in your rental business, you may decide to have your unit converted into a condominium. This means that your housing will be demolished and replaced with a building. If a condominium conversion project is going on, make sure that you disclose this to new tenants before they sign the rental agreement.
As the landlord of the condominium project, provide your tenant a written notice that states the following:
• The unit has been approved for sale, and may be sold, to the public, and
• The tenant’s lease may be terminated (ended) if the unit is sold, and
• The tenant will be informed at least 90 days before the unit is offered for sale, and
• The tenant normally will be given a first option to buy the unit.
If you fail to give the tenant this notice, he can recover his actual moving expenses not exceeding $1,100 as well as the first month’s rent on the tenant’s new rental unit, if any, not to exceed $1,100. The written notice applies to projects that received final approval and with at least 5 building units.
Some tenants do not like to live in rental units that receive periodic pest control treatments. The purpose of disclosing this piece of information is to give tenants an informed choice whether to sign the rental agreement or not.
When you notify occupants of pesticide use, specify whether the pesticide treatment is performed by licensed pest control agents or not. The pest control agent must also give you a list of all the chemicals to be used on your unit. Share this information with your tenants, the pest to be controlled, and how frequent treatments will be made.
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