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Learn the laws of proper property management

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Shirley Johnson 3GBy Shirley Johnson, Realtor

Novice Landlords can find themselves on the wrong side of Rental Property ordinances and laws at the federal, state, and local levels. You will want to know, going in, what is needed and you will want to stay abreast of any changes.

Housing and Urban Development administers Fair Housing Laws. You cannot discriminate against a tenant or prospect based on race or color, religion, national origin, familial status, age, disability or sex. (Many local ordinances add sexual orientation to this list.) This affects not only who you lease to, but how you advertise your property and how you treat your tenant once they are in the property.

Do you advertise your property as “perfect for young families”? Do you not return calls from non-native English-speakers? Do you charge more security deposit for 2 college students than you would for 2 senior citizens? These are all forms of discrimination.

Texas Property Code has requirements for safety and security of a rental property. It outlines specifics regarding locking devices – their placement and type – and about smoke detectors. Does every window have a working latch? Do you have the correct locks? Door viewers? Smoke detectors in all the bedrooms? Do you know where else smoke detectors are required?

Local ordinances often require annual registration. Some municipalities inspect rental properties annually, others only between tenants, and others only when a complaint is received. These may address placement of For Lease signs, how the hot water heater is vented, how often the lawn must be mowed, etc.

Do you know what’s needed for your local government? One of the main jobs of a professional property manager is to protect you from potential liability. One way we do that is to help you get and stay compliant with federal, state, and local laws.

3G Properties specializes in home sales, buying, and property management. Call 940-262-0091 or visit
www.3ghomessite.com

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