Nadel & Ciarlo, P.C.

Landlords and tenants: Notes to remember

Landlords and tenants have to have a good relationship, or at least a civil relationship, to make any tenancy work. Landlords need to be respectful of tenants' rights, and tenants need to be respectful of the landlord's property. When the two come together and work together for both their benefit, there can be a great relationship that is profitable for the landlord and comfortable for the tenant.

There are laws in place to help make that situation a reality. Here are two you should know whether you're a landlord or tenant.

1. Security deposits

Security deposits protect landlords from having to pay to repair damages out of their own pockets. They're allowed to hold up to two months of rent as a security deposit. After one year passes, the landlord can only hold one month, so you should receive a refund of a month's rent at that point. Security deposits need to be held in escrow for the first two years and in an interest-bearing account for the third.

2. Wear and tear issues

When you sign a lease as a tenant, you need to note all wear and tear in an apartment. Any problems or defects need to be reported to help tenants protect their security deposits. Tenants are not liable for wear and tear in apartments, but they are liable for damages.

The reality is that you may have an issue with a landlord or a tenant, but you can work out the issue through mediation or a lawsuit through the courts. Most cases can be resolved with a settlement.

Source: FindLaw, "Residential landlord and tenant matters," accessed May 24, 2018

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