By Phyllis Rockower,

Even though you don't need a degree (either legal or brokers) to do real estate, it's
important to learn the law. This is true for many reasons. First, you don't want to get
sued or arrested. Second, you don't want your tenants to have the upper hand.
When dealing with tenants, they say that whatever you don't know about being a
landlord, your tenants will teach you. That holds true for landlord tenant law. For starters,
you should know every statute - what it says about deposit returns, evictions, noncompliance,
and disposing of left behind furniture. You will always hear from a
disgruntled tenant you are having a problem with that he/she is going to get a lawyer and
sue you. If you are up on the law, you will be able to laugh at that. I can't tell you how
many times I've heard that and then, if and when they go to an attorney, the attorney
tells them I'm right.
You should also know municipal laws that affect your property, and criminal liability laws.
What happens if one of your tenants is caught doing drugs in your property? You could
be liable.
What are the laws regarding fair housing? What can and can't you do? What if your
property manager screws up?
It's also important to know about lead-based paint laws, mold laws and how they will
affect you. What about environmental laws and liability?
Another area, which is important to know, is tax law and entities in which to hold title to
protect yourself. These are only a few of the areas that you need to be familiar with. If
you take some time to be knowledgeable, I guarantee that you will save money in the
long run.