We are living in a leased house here in Corpus Christi, and our landlord has a Real Estate Company handling everything. We go directly to the Real Estate Agent handling his lease agreement, for everything that needs to be done on the house. Then they go to the owner and if he decides that something needs to be done about the problem he hires someone to do it unless he can handle the problem himself. Make sure the agency you use if you decide to do so is listed with the Better Business Bureau. Usually the real estate people make up the lease, but you have to tell them what you do and do not want done. Here in this house, I am not allowed to burn candles in the house or on the patio without prior permission from the owner. If something needs to be repaired we are liable for the first 25.00 if it is deemed our fault. We are currently fighting an electrical repair bill for the A/C that hasn't worked right since the day we moved in. The gas co. refused to light the heater in the hallway because of how dirty the whole unit was..so they finally came out to fix it and said it was our fault because the filter was dirty. So we are fighting with the real estate company over that one. Good thing is we have the electric company they use on our side.
My husband and I have to fertilize the yard and the upkeep of the garden is on us. My family is not allowed to stay here with us unless I have permission from the owner. I mean, some of the stuff is crazy, but that is what he can leagally put in his contract. Hope this helped you some..
You might also want to do research online too as to what laws cover you as a landlord and what laws cover the tenant. You would be surprised. As a landlord you have good laws to help you out, but so does the tenant.
I had to do some checking online because of what was stated in our lease, and some of what they don't want is dumb in our eyes, but once it is in the lease and you sign that lease it is legal. So just do a lot of checking...
Also yes you are allowed to have the property checked on while you have someone living there, but you do have to tell the tenant at least 24-48 hours before you expect to go inside. This is to cover you, because if you enter the property without the tenants permission, you can be in trouble. I know this for a fact as a tenant. Also you need to make sure the tenant or someone they trust is home at the time of your visit. I do believe that under no circumstances are you allowed to just walk into the house, even though it is yours. If something comes up missing from this property, you can be blamed for it. As for locking a tenant out, you must be available to the tenant 24 hrs. a day 7 days a week, and there must be a phone number where they can reach you. You have to allow them into the house for their items such as medications, personal hygene, clothes..etc. So, please do a whole lot of checking and asking questions...I have and that is how I have come across this information. I also know that the real estate company handling our lease has been around since 1984 and just got listed with the Better Business Bureau 10 yrs. ago and has had 3 complaints against them from tenants and only managed to resolve 1 satisfactorily. They are still trying to settle the other problems..and I have had my problems with them myself. They are finding out I do not play games. We are following the rules and I expect them to abide by them also.
You must state in your lease agreement what you expect the renter to do to maintain the home...usually the renter is responsible for some maintenance such as cutting the grass, replacing light bulbs that have blown, replacing A/C filters, or making sure to keep them clean. Anything that you are willing to leave in the house make sure it is listed in the contract ie lease agreement. You and the renter should take pictures before the renter moves in..you should do an inventory of all rooms, list all scratches, holes in the walls that have been repaired. I did a 5 page inventory here and the real estate agent looked like I had taken her best friend. But I was covering myself...and I was not going to be blamed for something the previous tenant had done.
A lot of what I have told you is information I received from my previous landlord. I rented from them for 12 yrs. and the only reason I left is because my hubby got another job for the same company, just in a different city. He is the one I got my info on about fighting the payment battle. Long story there.