What is arbitration?
Arbitration is an alternate way to resolve disputes without going to court. Instead of a judge, an intermediary renders a final decision. And unlike a trial decision, which can be appealed, a decision rendered in arbitration can be binding.
As a landlord, what kind of maintenance am I legally responsible for?

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.

How much can I charge for late rent payments?
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.
Can I request a separate pet deposit?

Yes. A pet deposit is an additional security deposit to cover any damage caused by a pet. In some states, a pet deposit is an allowable amount over the maximum security deposit.

When can I legally re-lease an apartment after a tenant abandons it?
Generally, if a tenant abandons a rental unit before the lease expires, you are entitled to enter the property and re-lease it. Abandonment laws also regulate when you can dispose of any property left in the unit.
What kind of damages can I deduct from the security deposit?
Depending on your state, a security deposit may be used to cover unpaid rent as well as any damages to the property beyond normal wear and tear. You may also be entitled to use a security deposit to cover unpaid utilities or to clean the premises when the tenant vacates the property. For state-specific security deposit laws, check with your local housing agency.
How long do I have to return a security deposit?
The timeframe for returning a security deposit varies by state. It ranges anywhere from 10 to 45 days or more after the tenant has vacated the property. For a more specific timeframe, check with your local housing agency.
How much can I require for a security deposit?
The laws on 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 month's rent.
Am I required to pay for certain utilities?
Typically, landlords decide whether to cover the cost of utilities or to require the tenant to assume responsibility for his or her own utilities. In many cases, a landlord will cover the cost of water and garbage pick-up, while a tenant will cover other utilities, such as electricity, gas, cable TV or internet service.

What is normal wear and tear?
"Normal wear and tear" is a subjective assessment based on the total time a tenant occupied the premises, the condition of the unit on move-in, the use of the premises, and whether pets were allowed. The longer a tenant lives in a rental unit, the more likely it is that normal wear and tear will occur. Examples of normal wear and tear include worn floors, chipped paint, dirty air filters and broken hinges.
What's the difference between a quitclaim deed and a warranty deed?

A quitclaim deed transfers whatever interest an owner has in a piece of property but makes no guarantees. This means that the new owner of the property has less protection and limited legal recourse if there are issues with the title. For this reason, quitclaim deeds are almost never used when selling real estate.

They are, however, often used for transferring property between family members, transfers into a living trust, and by divorcing couples.

A warranty deed, on the other hand, provides protection to the new owner because the current owner makes a promise that they legally own the property and has clear title to the real estate. Warranty deeds give the new owner a legal recourse if something is wrong with the title, and are commonly used when selling real estate.

LegalZoom can help you create a quitclaim deed or warranty deed online.