Consumer Law Newsletter
Sunday, May 19, 2013
- Defective Products and Breach of Warranty Although the public tends to trust the integrity of a product and the company that produces it, not all products are made safely and injury can result from products that are improperly designed, manufactured or distributed. In order to re...
- HECM – A FHA-Insured Reverse Mortgage A reverse mortgage is an arrangement under which a homeowner may get a loan representing a percentage of home equity. The homeowner will not be required to make payments or repay the loan so long as she continues to reside in her home and ...
- Overview of Landlord-Tenant Law and Security Deposits Landlord-tenant laws govern the rights and liabilities of parties in a landlord-tenant relationship, as well as the transaction that takes place when a commercial or residential property is rented or leased. Landlord-tenant laws involve several di...
- House Passes the Involuntary Bankruptcy Improvement Act Although seldom used, a creditor can force an individual into Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy by filing an involuntary bankruptcy petition. For creditors, such a collection tool can prove effective in protecting debtor assets from&nbs...
- When Seat Belts are Recalled Car manufacturers will voluntarily recall certain cars when faulty car parts cause injuries or death. Several manufacturers have recalled cars because of faulty seat belts and belt failures. Lawyers and consumer groups such as Public...
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Overview of Landlord-Tenant Law and Security Deposits
Landlord-tenant laws govern the rights and liabilities of parties in a landlord-tenant relationship, as well as the transaction that takes place when a commercial or residential property is rented or leased. Landlord-tenant laws involve several different areas of the law, including legal principles of real property, contracts and remedies.
Who is a Landlord and Who is a Tenant?
A "landlord" is an owner of a rental unit, which may be an apartment, house, duplex, condominium, room, commercial office space or building. A landlord may be a person or company.
A "tenant" is a person or company that rents or leases a rental unit from the landlord. During the rental or lease term, the tenant obtains the right to the exclusive use and possession of the rental unit.
Security Deposits as a Common Obligation for Tenants in Most Jurisdictions
All states permit a landlord to require a security deposit from the tenant at the time the lease relationship is formed. The amount a landlord may require differs significantly from state to state and may include up to two months of rent.
Return of Security Deposits
Most states generally allow landlords to keep all or part of a security deposit if the tenant has not maintained the cleanliness or condition of a unit. However, there are regulations that require the landlord to provide notice to the tenant with respect to how much of the security deposit is being withheld. In addition, a landlord may also be required to provide an accounting as to how much is being withheld and for what purpose.
Some jurisdictions have laws that tend to be "tenant-friendly," while other jurisdictions have laws that may favor landlords under certain circumstances. Several states developed their landlord-tenant laws based on the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act or the Model Residential Landlord-Tenant Code, while other states enacted their own statutes. It is also important to note that in certain circumstances, common law or even federal law may also be applicable.
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