What Does the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act Do for Landlords?

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What Does the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act Do for Landlords?

Staff Writer · Feb 3, 2010

The Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, or URLTA, is a resource for landlords and tenants alike that helps clarify issues related to sometimes complicated rental agreements. The legislation, which was written in the 1970s, still provides a lot of the basis for rental law in many U.S. states. Skilled legal professionals who are helping to deal with a rental issue may refer to parts of the URLTA as applicable law where a state or municipality has adopted the law in whole or in part.

Purposes of the URLTA

The Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act illustrates several main purposes. In general, the law helps to clarify terms and accepted procedures for renting a property or housing unit. It also helps to promote good living conditions for rented properties, which is very important, not just for renters, but for the entire community, especially where rental properties may exist side by side with owned homes.

The URLTA for Landlords: Obligations

One thing that the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act does for landlords is to outline the general expectations that may applied in their respective states. Some might not think of this as a service to the landlord, but it does help in practical consideration of what might be expected of a landlord. By knowing the details of this kind of legislation, it’s possible for landlords to avoid some kinds of liabilities in the continued operation of a rental business.

Among many other items included in the law, the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act defines how a rental agreement should be used. Provisions in the law are as detailed as how and when a rental agreement is rendered legitimate in terms of signatures and other factors. The law’s coverage of the rental agreement is a key part of outlining how a rental process works.

The Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act also provides a lot of detail on security deposits, which are a constant source of landlord/tenant issues. A local URLTA law may specify that a security deposit has to be held in a certain kind of account. It may cover what will be done with the deposit when the renter leaves. All of this helps to clarify procedures that a landlord must comply with for legal rental operation.

The URLTA for Landlords: Helping with Landlord Rights and Policy

The Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and related legislation also help give landlords certain rights in abnormal rental situations. These laws can help with expediting an eviction, collecting unpaid rent, or dealing with other kinds of negative events. One such item is the law’s coverage of “abandonment” where some municipal laws hold that an absence of the tenant from a dwelling for 30 days, along with unpaid rent, constitutes “prima fascia abandonment,” where a landlord may be allowed to enter the dwelling and remove the renter’s possessions.

Along with all of the above, the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and related local law provides for a better mutual understanding of a legitimate rental agreement that will be useful in resolving any issues that may arise between the two parties. Tenants or landlords who feel that their rights have been violated can use legal assistance or refer to laws on their own to make decisions about how to handle an issue or complaint.

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