Tenant Move Out Cleanup >> How To Handle Dirty Tenants

Resolving disputesA landlord and tenant can agree to mediation or binding arbitration to resolve disputes between them. If both parties want to mediate or arbitrate disputes, they should include in the rental agreement (or in an addendum to it) specific details of the types of disputes to be resolved in this way and How To Handle Dirty Tenants the procedures to be followed.

Understanding the agreement Rental agreements are normally prepared by the landlord or the landlord's agent. It is very important thattenants make sure they understand all the terms of the agreement. Tenants should ask for an explanationof any section they do not understand, How To Handle Dirty Tenants before signing the agreement.

What to watch out for: Rental agreements cannot: require the tenant or the landlord to waive any legal rights under the Act,5 permit the landlord to get an "automatic" court judgment against the tenant (called a "confession ofjudgment"), How To Handle Dirty Tenants require the tenant to agree to pay the landlord's attorney fees.

Limit the liability of landlords or tenants when either has failed to meet their responsibilities, How To Handle Dirty Tenants make the tenant liable for rent even if the landlord fails to maintain the premises as required by law,9 or allow the landlord to take the tenant's personal belongings. Standard form agreementsSome standard form rental agreements have been written to conform to the laws of other states, or arebased on older versions of Alaska law. 

These forms may need to be changed before signing them. In addition to the legal provisions already listed, How To Handle Dirty Tenants any of the following statements should be removed from theagreement before signing it: agreement to let the landlord come into the dwelling whenever he or she wants, agreement to immediate eviction for nonpayment of rent.

Agreement that the tenant will make all repairs, release of the landlord from liability for accidents due to his or her neglect, giving up of the tenant's right to the return of the deposit, How To Handle Dirty Tenants or grant of a power of attorney to the landlord by the tenant, or to the tenant by the landlord.Illegal provisions in the contractTo remove illegal wording, draw a line in ink through any provision that is not legally binding. 

Both thelandlord and tenant should initial the agreement next to each item that has been removed.Illegal provisions in an agreement are not enforceable against the tenant, How To Handle Dirty Tenants even if both parties sign.Special rules for mobile home rentals Absent very specific exceptions, agreements between mobile home park operators and mobile home parktenants may not.

Prohibit the tenant from selling his or her mobile home, require the mobile home tenant to provide permanent improvements to park property, require a fee to let the tenant sell or How To Handle Dirty Tenants transfer the mobile home, or require a fee to let the tenant set up or move a mobile home into or out of the park.

Mobile home park operators must give tenants a list of all capital improvements that will be required (suchas skirting, utility hook-ups, and tie downs) before the tenant moves into the park.12 Park operators mayspecify the type of equipment required, How To Handle Dirty Tenants but cannot require that it be purchased from a particular supplier13 or company.

Unsigned or undelivered agreementsOnce the agreement has been carefully reviewed, both parties should sign it. The landlord must give thetenant a copy.If the landlord and How To Handle Dirty Tenants the tenant agree to a rental agreement, and the landlord signs and delivers the agreement to the tenant but the tenant doesn't sign it, the legal provisions of the agreement are nonetheless binding if the tenant moves in and begins paying rent. 

Likewise, if the tenant signs and How To Handle Dirty Tenants delivers the agreement to the landlord but the landlord doesn't sign it, the rental agreement is binding ifthe landlord accepts payment of rent without reservation from the tenant. What is a lease?A lease is a rental agreement that specifies how long the tenant will stay in the property. 

If there is alease, the landlord cannot raise the rent or evict the tenant during the period of the lease, unless thetenant breaks the terms of the lease or the lease agreement provides for the increases.If the tenant decides to move during the term of the lease, How To Handle Dirty Tenants the tenant is usually still responsible for therent for the rest of the lease period, unless the dwelling can be subleased or re-rented earlier. 

See sections on Moving Prior to End of a Lease and Subleasing, pgs. 18-19.There may be times, How To Handle Dirty Tenants however, when the tenant may quit the lease and not be responsible for the rent forthe remainder of the lease. See section on Tenant Remedies, pgs. 13-14.What is a security deposit?Many landlords demand a security deposit before a tenant moves in. 

This deposit protects the landlordfrom financial loss if the tenant fails to pay the rent, causes damage to the property, How To Handle Dirty Tenants or does not clean upproperly when he leaves.Except for units renting for more than $2,000 per month, security deposits and prepaid rents may not total15 more than two months' rent.

Sometimes a landlord asks for a nonrefundable application fee to place a prospective tenant on a waitinglist for an apartment. If an application fee covers the landlord's actual, reasonable costs for servicesperformed (such as checking the applicant's credit history), How To Handle Dirty Tenants it is probably lawful.

However, it is NOT lawful to charge a fee that becomes the security deposit if the tenant moves in, but isforfeited if the tenant decides not to take the unit. At most, How To Handle Dirty Tenants such a tenant would be responsible for rentduring the time it takes the landlord to find a replacement tenant, and for the actual costs (such asnewspaper ads) of finding one.

Where are deposits kept? Deposits and prepaid rent must be deposited by the landlord or the property manager in a trust account ina bank or savings and loan association, or with a licensed escrow agent.16 (Exceptions could be made inrural Alaska, How To Handle Dirty Tenants if there is no bank in town and it would be impractical to bank the money).

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