Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions. We will respond to these in time.

Landlord Tenant Laws:

Q: What is landlord tenant law?

A: See (https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/landlord-tenant_law). Landlord-tenant law governs the rental of commercial and residential property. It is composed primarily of state statutory and common law. A number of states have based their statutory law on either the Uniform Residential Landlord And Tenant Act (URLTA) or the Model Residential Landlord-Tenant Code. Federal statutory law may be a factor in times of national/regional emergencies and in preventing forms of discrimination. The landlord-tenant relationship is founded on duties proscribed by either statutory law, the common law, or the individual lease.

Q: What are the landlord tenant laws in your state.

A: The Renters Pass lessons explain the interaction of Federal laws, State laws, local government ordinances and lease agreements. Each state has different laws relating to landlord tenant laws. Our LAWS and RULES course references the landlord tenant laws.

Q: How much do landlord tenant lawyers charge?

A:  This depends on the location and complexity of the issues to be dealt with. You can refer to the State Attorney bar for further assistance.

Q: How do I find an attorney or lawyer for landlord tenant matters?

A: Here is a handy link to find a local lawyer or attorney for landlord or tenant matters. https://www.avvo.com/find-a-lawyer 

 

Rental Deposit

Q:Do I earn interest on my rental deposit?

Interest MAY be payable, depending on the legislation covering the lease and the specific lease terms. Check the landlord-tenant legislation in your area, then the terms of the lease or rental agreement.

Q:Do rental deposits count as income to the landlord<strong>?</strong>

No. A rental deposit is NOT classified as income. A rental deposit is NOT a sale of a good or a service. When a rental deposit is initially paid, it remains as a contingent liability because it could possibly be returned at a later time. When a deposit is used, it is a reimbursement of an expense.

Q:Do you charge VAT, GST, or Sales Tax on a rental deposit? Do you pay vat on rental deposit? Do rental deposits include VAT?

No. Rental deposits to not incur or include a VAT (Value added tax), GST (Goods and Services Tax) or Sales Tax. A rental deposit is NOT a sale of a good or a service.

Q:How can I get help with rental deposit? How can I get my rental deposit back? Do you get rental deposit back?

A rental deposit can only be used for the purpose it was set aside. At the time of entering into a lease the tenant gives the landlord a deposit to be used to cover any outstanding costs at the end of the lease or rental period. The specific agreement will identify what the deposit can be used for. In most instances the deposit is to make repairs to the property. It can also include specific mandatory amounts set aside to clean carpets or something similar. The cost to make the repairs is deducted from the deposit and the balance must be given back to the tenant.

Q:How do I record a rental deposit received in my accounting system such as Quickbooks?

A rental deposit paid by a tenant is a liability in the books of the landlord or property manager. The accounting entry in you accounting systems when you receive a rental deposit is: Debit “Cash at Bank” / Credit “Renters Deposits” for the amount of the deposit received.

Q:How do I record a rental deposit repaid or paid back to the tenant, in my accounting system such as Quickbooks?

A rental deposit paid out TO tenant is a repayment of a liability in the books of the landlord or property manager. The accounting entry in you accounting systems when you PAY OUT a rental deposit is: Debit “Renters Deposit” / Credit “Cash at Bank” for the amount of the deposit paid back to the tenant.

Q:How do rental deposits work?

A rental deposit can only be used for the purpose it was set aside. At the time of entering into a lease the tenant gives the landlord a deposit to be used to cover any outstanding costs at the end of the lease or rental period. The specific agreement will identify what the deposit can be used for. In most instances the deposit is to make repairs to the property. It can also include specific mandatory amounts set aside to clean carpets or something similar. The cost to make the repairs is deducted from the deposit and the balance must be given back to the tenant.

Q:How long can a rental deposit be held? How long can you hold a rental deposit? How long should I wait for rental deposit back?

A rental deposit can only be used for the purpose it was set aside. Generally, the Landlord Tenant legislation in your state will stipulate the period after you have ended the lease or rental period, when the rental deposit must be returned. Check the Landlord-Tenant legislation in your state.

Q:How much can you charge for rental deposit?

The renters deposit is part of the lease or rental agreement and should describe what the deposit is for and when the deposit will be used and returned. Depending on the specific instance the deposit amount will vary. Generally, the deposit it equal to one month rent.

 

Rent Control

Q: What are rent control laws and how does it work? What do rent control laws do?

Rent control refers to laws that limit the amounts of rent and the amounts that rent can be increased in any year. At present, there is no statewide rent control in the US, and all the rent control laws and regulation are passed by cities. Most of the cities with rent control are located in New York, California, and New Jersey. Washington, D.C. also has rent control. State laws often affect or override City rent-control ordinances, so you should check both to find out about the law in your area. If you have questions about rent control, a landlord-tenant lawyer can explain the laws in your city.answer coming soon

Q: Which states have rent control?

At present, there is no statewide rent control in the US, and all the rent control laws and regulation are passed by cities. Most of the cities with rent control are located in New York, California, and New Jersey. Washington, D.C. also has rent control. State laws often affect or override City rent-control ordinances, so you should check both to find out about the law in your area. If you have questions about rent control, a landlord-tenant lawyer can explain the laws in your city.

Q: What are the benefits of impacts or rent control laws? Who benefits from rent control laws? In the short run and in the long run?

Generally, rent controls mean that rents increases are restricted. Tenants benefit by rent control. Landlords are disadvantaged by not increasing rents quickly. Generally tenants benefit by not having rents increased outside the terms “rent control laws” in the relevant city. This restricts the amount the rent can be increased each year. Tenants benefit because rents increase gradually. Landlords are disadvantaged because rents do not increase proportionally to increases in property values or property costs, thereby decreasing the landlord’s profits. When landlord profits decrease, landlords will choose other investment strategies and not reinvest in housing. Fewer residential rental properties make it more difficult for tenants to find new rental housing.

Q: What happens when rent controls are repealed?

New laws take effect. The specific laws determine the effective date and terms. See a landlord-tenant lawyer can explain the laws in your city.

 

Rent Laws / Rent to own laws:

Q: What is rent to own and how does it work?

Rent to own is one way to buy or sell something. The buyer and seller agree to rent the property AND to possibly buy/sell the property at a future time. While property is rented until the buyer chooses to exercise the contract to buy. The normal payment is normally more than the rent alone would be. The additional portion of each rental payment goes toward the purchasing price. The renter/buyer ultimately decides if the transaction will actually take place.

 

Eviction Questions:

Q:Do eviction notices have to be notarized?

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Q:Do evictions ever go away?

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Q:Do evictions go away?

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Q:Do evictions go on credit report?

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Q:Do evictions show from state to state?

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Q:Do evictions show in different states?

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Q:Do evictions show on your credit report?

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Q:Do evictions show up?

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Q:Do evictions transfer states?

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Q:Do I have an eviction?

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Q:How can an eviction hurt your credit?

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Q:How can I check my eviction record?

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Q:How can I fight an eviction notice?

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Q:How can I get an apartment with an eviction?

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Q:How can I remove an eviction from my record?

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Q:How can I rent an apartment with an eviction?

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Q:How can I stop an eviction?

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Q:How does eviction work?

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Q:How long does an eviction take?

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Conflicts – Mediation / Court actions:

Q:How can I resolve problems with my landlord or tenant?

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Q:What problems can be addressed by mediation?

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Q:What is the difference between Mediation, Arbitration, and a Court Order?

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Q:What is the process for mediation?

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Q:Does Mediation really work?

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Q:What are the costs of Mediation, Arbitration and a Court Action?

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Q:When is the best time to start mediation?

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