Keeping yourself educated on current landlord-tenant laws is the only way to ensure compliance.
Landlordology does a great job of summarizing the state laws, but local laws vary from county to county or city to city.
Most local real estate associations usually host classes to help you stay on top of the laws. Check with your local REIA, RHA, or investment club for more details.
Gold slippeth away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those who are skilled in its keep. The Richest Man in Babylon
Whether it’s a huge change, or just a minor tweak, it’s so important to remember that landlord-tenant laws are ALWAYS changing. The result is the same, if you don’t abide by the law you can get yourself into some trouble.
In Oregon, a 2010 change in the legislation made it illegal to charge any type of move-in fee. However, three years later, there are still Craigslist ads that mention a move-in fee. Something this simple could put a landlord in hot water.
There are usually a variety of landlord training classes offered through local housing office or real estate club. They generally cover a widerange of subjects such as leasing techniques, landlord-tenant law, maintenance prevention and everything in between.
Portland is a great example of a city that provides training to landlords at no charge. Their program is a fantastic way to raise the quality of landlords, who in turn accept higher quality tenants, thereby reducing nuisanceissues throughout the city.
I recommend finding and attending a class that is of interest to you, or more importantly, the one you need to brush up on the most.
Most classes are free but some may cost a minimal amount. In the grand scheme of things, what is more expensive, a $40 class or a lawsuit?