Free Legal Information for Landlords
A landlord should avail himself of all applicable free legal information available. And if it raises more questions than answers, that too is a good thing!
If you manage your own properties or employ a property manager, you as the landlord will be held responsible. As a landlord you have a duty to do personal inspections of your properties to ensure they are habitable and safe. You will not shift responsibility and/or liability if you employ a property manager. In fact, you will be held responsible for your manager's actions when he is conducting business on your behalf.
Unfortunately, the landlord is often perceived as someone with lots of money. This makes a landlord particularly vulnerable to claims. In reality many property investors are middle class people whose investments are part of their retirement plans.
It is especially these landlords who need to find as much free legal information as possible to safeguard themselves and their investment.
Whether you are a current landlord or are considering investing in property, you should investigate the following:
- Which legal entity should own your properties e.g. a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Partnership (LP), Corporation, Trust etc.
- Should you set up more than one of the above to own various properties.
- To what extent do you need liability insurance.
- Do you need workmen's compensation for repairmen that you employ.
- Would you require insurance for lost rent and mortgage payments.
- If you employ people to run your real estate business, can you insure against employee's dishonesty or litigation in the workplace.
- Do you need to have insurance on your property manager's car whilst he is traveling on your business.
- Which tax advantages can you utilize as a landlord.
It is most important to keep your personal property separate from that of your investment properties.
Apart from the free legal information available on the Internet and at home owner's associations, there are many books available and attendance at property seminars is invaluable.
To assist the landlord in handling his investment properties, he should have a team consisting of at least a real estate attorney, an insurance broker and accountant.
Investing in property can be hugely profitable. Paying for expert advice is cheap at the price.