Rental property laws can vary greatly depending on the country and jurisdiction a person is in. While laws in some places tend to favor the landlord, those in other places may give more rights to the tenant. In either case, some laws will apply to landlords and others will apply to tenants. For landlords, laws mainly relate to meeting rental code and process of eviction. For tenants, the laws typically relate to eviction and right of privacy.
One of the primary things rental property laws do is first set up a safety standard for the structure being rented. If the structure is a home, for example, laws may require egress windows in each bedroom, a fire detector on each level and at least one fire extinguisher in the home. Also, rental property laws may require the landlord to make sure the structure's electrical and plumbing systems are in safe working condition. Another typical safety feature many jurisdictions may require is a railing along any steps.
In many jurisdictions, rental property laws require that a property be registered with a local government so that an inspection can take place. This inspection may be on an annual basis, or a rotating basis once every few years. The inspection makes sure the property is in compliance with any applicable safety standards and fire code. If the property is out of compliance, the inspector may have the option of providing a time frame where the landlord can make the needed changes or may prohibit the property from being rented until the changes are made.
Rental property laws also set up a process for eviction in cases where the rent payment is not being made. These vary greatly by jurisdiction, but usually follow the same general process. First, the landlord must serve notice for a failure to pay rent. Once notice has been served, the tenant may have a certain period of time in which he or she can pay the rent in full, plus late fees, to avoid eviction. After that period of time has passed, the landlord then can then proceed with the eviction by obtaining a court order, which may require a hearing.
For tenants, rental property laws mainly provide some protections against unlawful eviction and protections for matters of privacy. In most locations, a landlord has to provide an advanced warning before entering a property, typically 24 hours or more. If the tenant disputes an eviction, then there are also procedures to fight a planned eviction in court. Further, tenants may be able to force the landlord to make certain repairs, under the law.