By the time most newbie Belleview investors consider getting a single-family rental property, what normally comes to mind are the operational aspects of the investment: finding tenants, managing property maintenance, and collecting rent. What you may not think about is that there are, on top of that, an unexpectedly large number of laws and legal matters that relate to buying and leasing rental homes.
While it is true that several federal laws will definitely apply to rental properties nationwide, nearly all of the laws that you will need to grasp are those on the books of your state, county, or even city. This is why it is crucial to do your research and garner clear information about these laws before you purchase an investment property.
Real Estate Agency and Licensing Law
One of the most important people on your investing team is your real estate agent. The laws that govern the relationship between an agent and their clients differ from state to state. As an investor, it’s principal to grasp well what your real estate agent can and cannot legally do, from disclosures to acting in a dual agency capacity.
Secondly, know for sure that real estate agents may or may not be that well-versed in property management laws. You should also have an accurate understanding of the procedures required by Florida for acquiring and keeping a real estate license and always remember to double-check that your agent’s license is current and in good standing.
Transfers of Ownership
Another state-specific set of laws you should ascertain is those handling voluntary and involuntary ownership transfers. Voluntary transfers of ownership are those that befall when a rental property is acquired. Even so, there are several differences among state laws over who will handle the transfer (your real estate agent or an attorney, for example), whether title insurance is required, who pays closing costs, and who owns the property on the day of closing.
Still, you should particularly learn your state laws about involuntary ownership transfers. These transfers conventionally take effect when the heirs of a deceased property owner inherit the property. Being aware of these laws can help you gear up and execute as well as make the process a whole lot easier whether you inherit property or leave your property to someone else.
Limitations on Use
In many states, local regulations will determine how a property owner may put into use their property. Zoning ordinances, deed restrictions, historic preservation programs, and environmental review laws can all limit how a property owner may actually use their land or structures.
As an investor, it’s pertinent to be aware of any local ordinances that may obstruct your likelihood of being able to renovate or lease the property you seek to buy. You should also look around and ask if any occupancy laws impact your strategies to actually use the property as a rental.
Fair Housing and Others
There are federal, state, and really a whole bunch of local laws intended to protect tenants’ rights and prevent discrimination. So while taking into account your federal tenants’ rights laws is critical, you will also have to take into account whether your state has supplemented those laws with stricter versions of their own. You should, on top of that, check intently for any rent control policies that may apply, both current and those most likely to be enacted soon.
Taking into consideration your local Landlord/Tenant laws and habitability standards will help ensure you manage your investment property the right way. Tenants’ rights laws can cover a whole range of things, from security requirements to frequency and notification about rent increases.
Being informed of all of the basic laws in Florida can be a lot of work, that’s why it’s actually understandable for a handful of rental property investors to hire Belleview property management experts instead. At Real Property Management Diversified, we take in all the ins and outs of state and federal laws and can make certain that your investment properties are leased and managed in accordance with those laws. Call today at 352-854-2221.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.