As Kentucky residents continue to face the challenges of a tumultuous economy, many are turning to more predictable sources of income that provide steady income while allowing them to work for themselves. Whether it is renting out a room in the family home, a carriage house on the property, or purchasing property to lease, the move toward income property is trending up as rent prices rise.
But becoming a landlord has its share of responsibilities, and, contrary to what some might think, does take a lot of work. Before jumping in, it is a good idea to know all that is involved. For residents of Newport and surrounding areas, it is also important to understand both your rights and those of your tenants’ if there is a legal dispute involving:
- Nonpayment of rent or security deposit
- Maintenance and repair claims
- Violations of the rental agreement
What is involved in property rentals?
Although renting for income may seem like a quick way of making money, landlords run their affairs like any other business and can encounter unforeseen deficits that will put them at risk. For this reason, it is important to have a substantial amount of cash on hand to cover any shortfall from unrented units, as well as to pay maintenance and repair costs.
Some considerations to keep in mind when becoming a landlord are:
- Run it like a business. Don’t rent to friends or family, and don’t get drawn into the personal issues of your delinquent renters, especially when they are violating the terms of the lease.
- Get homeowners and liability insurance and encourage your tenants to get renters insurance.
- Have a budget for marketing the property, which includes advertising and screening potential renters, preparing units for show, and maintaining the property.
- Do not delay regular inspections, which keep the property in compliance with municipal regulations and prevent possible fines or lawsuits.
What are landlord-tenant laws like in Kentucky?
In landlord-tenant law, the mutual obligations that both the tenant and landlord owe to each other are legally binding. Under Kentucky laws, landlords must comply with health and safety housing codes, supply running water and utilities that include heat in the winter months, and keep the units and grounds clean, safe and in good repair. Tenants must also keep the rental property clean, not damage or vandalize the property, and not disturb other tenants.
When jumping into the income property enterprise, landlords must also understand the detailed legal requirements concerning security deposits, the payment of rent and termination of a rental agreement, as well as maintenance and repair requirements and tenant rights.