Owning a home comes with its share of responsibilities and, occasionally, legal issues can arise related to home ownership. When dealing with rental properties, however, the duties and potential legal problems that a property owner may have to deal with increases dramatically. For this reason, it is essential that anyone who owns Rhode Island rental properties has a dedicated real estate and property law attorney to whom they can look for advice and representation should the need arise.
Rhode Island landlords face a variety of legal issues, including the following:
Drafting a lease – All landlords should ensure that they have a comprehensive Rhode Island residential lease that covers all potential situations that may arise during a tenancy. Of course, leases should cover the basics such as the amount of rent, when it is due, and what the late fee is if a tenant does not pay on time. However, leases should also cover the pet policy, the landlord’s right of entry, who is responsible for repairs, and other potential points of contention.
Risk management – Managing a rental property can expose a landlord to significant risk if the proper steps are not taken to protect the landlord’s assets. Most often, landlords either obtain an umbrella insurance policy or form a limited liability corporation (LLC) and keep the title to the home in the LLC. This way, if there is ever a claim against the owner of the home based on a tenant’s injury, the claim would not likely result in the landlord’s assets being used to satisfy any judgment.
Eviction – While most tenants pay their rent on time, there are always those that do not. Ensuring that an eviction goes smoothly is critical to maintaining a profitable rental property, because the Rhode Island eviction process is complex and can drag on for months if not handled properly.
Property maintenance – Rhode Island law requires landlords maintain their homes in a habitable condition. If a tenant believes that the landlord is violating the warranty of habitability, they can withhold rent in some circumstances. Landlords should be aware of their duties and be prepared to take legal action against tenants who fail to pay rent based on purported violations.
These represent only a partial list of the potential legal issues that Rhode Island landlords may face. Anyone who owns rental properties and is experiencing a legal issue related to the ownership or management of a property should consult with a dedicated Rhode Island real estate attorney for assistance.
Do You Need a Rhode Island Property Law Attorney?
If you own Rhode Island rental properties and are currently dealing with a pending legal issue, contact the knowledge Rhode Island real estate lawyers at Bilodeau Capalbo. At Bilodeau Capalbo, we represent landlords across Rhode Island in all aspects of their business, including evictions and drafting residential leases. We enjoy a solid reputation for being hardworking, diligent attorneys who keep our clients’ interests in mind at all times. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call 401-300-4055 today.