There is a disturbing trend in the world of residential real estate. As home prices remain depressed, agents are recommending that homeowners lease their homes (with the agent) until the market rebounds. The attitude is often that “it is just a rental” and that the agent can take care of finding a renter for them. There are so many differences between selling a home and leasing a home, and the laws governing the process are vastly different as well. Without appropriate training and experience, there are just too many risks and liabilities involved in renting your home yourself or through an agent with limited leasing experience.
Kandy Meehan has been invited to teach a three hour class at the Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS® to try to raise awareness for agents of all that leasing a home entails. This class will be a three hour course for Continuing Education credit. For more information on getting enrolled in this class, please contact KCRAR.
The bottom line is that hiring a professional property management company to lease your home transfers much of the burden of compliance and liability to the management company instead of the owner or a potentially inexperienced agent. It also reduces many of the headaches associated with the monthly process of leasing your home.
For example, you could have a prospective renter with service animals. You have an owner that doesn’t want any pets in their property. Fair Housing Law says that the renter cannot be charged any pet rent or pet deposit for any service animals. The owner cannot decline the renter based on pets because Fair Housing Law says that service animals are not pets. Mishandling this situation exposes the owner to a Fair Housing lawsuit.
Here are just a few of the topics that will be covered in her class:
– There are both personal liability issues and liability issues to third parties when leasing a property.
– Many aspects of the Fair Credit Reporting Act applies to the screening process needed to screen potential renters
– Having clear written procedures for handling keys and garage door codes is necessary to insure the safety of people and property
– Complying with Fair Housing Laws is much more involved when you are renting a property vs when you are selling a property
– New federal laws regarding lead based paint carry hefty fines if the laws are violated
– Property managers need to know state laws governing the security deposit limits, premises inventory requirements, returning the deposit to the renter and if state law dictates how interest is to be handled
– Being able to document all non-emergency maintenance requests will help support your defense if renter claims work not being done in a timely manner