Landlords face local legal issues

Landlords and rental property management professionals should be aware of potential legal issues relating to local laws.

Officials in some areas may be considering laws that would effectively restrict rent increases, according to Multifamily Executive. Specifically, there has been discussion of laws that would prohibit landlords and managers from raising rents on a tenant more than once per year or for some other period. This would reduce landlord's flexibility in general and particularly impact those renting on a monthly basis.

A similar concern relates to utility charges. Some localities may have laws that restrict landlords' right to increase charges for electricity, water and similar services. This could cause difficulties, particularly if apartment owners are unaware of such restrictions.

Additionally, there has been some focus on communications between tenants and managers or landlords. States are requiring more explicit notifications than in the past, to cover events like the receipt of payments or notices that they have been accepted. When implementing new notifications or communications, professionals should be certain that they are using the proper terminology and are precise, since there can be significant legal differences.