As a landlord, you need a high-quality lease agreement both you and your tenant can trust. A well-crafted lease agreement specifies the terms of your rental arrangement, reduces your liability risk, and helps protect your investment.
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The actual amount you can charge for a late fee depends on the state in which the property is located. Some states require you to charge a flat rate for a late payment. Others allow you to charge a percentage, sometimes up to 15% of the monthly rental amount.
It is your legal responsibility to keep the rental unit in good repair. This means the premises must be safe, sanitary and habitable throughout the course of the tenancy. Habitability includes "livable" conditions such as working doors, faucets, toilets and heaters. In other words, the rental unit must remain comfortable to live in.
The laws about security deposits vary by state. In most cases, the dollar amount you can require from each tenant is based on the monthly rental value. While some states set no fixed amount, most states enforce a maximum that is anywhere from one to three months' rent.
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