When you’re a renter it’s important to know what your legal rights are. If you don’t you can get taken advantage of by your landlord. In a a dream world all renters and landlords will get along perfectly and all disagreements will be solved very swiftly. However, this isn’t always the case. Although, in some cases the relationship does work and progress very smoothly.
In this article, we’re going to break down the most common rights that you have as a renter so you can ensure that you’re protected and don’t get taken advantage of if the worst does happen.
Although, renters right do differ from state to state we’re going to cover some of the most common rights that you should have, regardless of where you reside.
1. Cannot be denied rental upon certain characteristics
You cannot be denied the right to renting a property due to any of the following characteristics: religion, family status, nationality, race, sex or disability. If you do get denied based upon any of these characteristics there’s a good chance you’ll have a case on your hands.
2. Housing must be hospitable
When you rent a home or apartment the home must be in compliance with all housing codes and any other local laws. The building must be completely habitable and be structurally sound, be sanitary, have electricity and heat, and also have adequate water.
3. Security deposit limitation
A lot of times there is an upper limit on how much you can be charged for your security deposit. This differs state by state, so it is worth checking if you feel you are being charged too much.
4. A landlord must give notice before entry
A landlord should give you, the renter, at least 24 hours notice before they enter your premises. The reasons for entry into your property can usually include the need for repair and emergency within your residence.
5. Rental agreements cannot be changed without consent
If there any amendments done to your rental agreement they need to be done in a legally justified manner. They cannot be done without your acknowledgement and agreement if you already signed the lease.
6. Landlord violations can lead to a break in the rental contract
If the landlord violates any lease terms that are related to your health, or safety, including things like necessary repairs, then you might have legal justification to break your lease terms. Obviously, this depends on the terms of your lease. If you are thinking about doing this it’d be wise to consult with a lawyer beforehand.
7. If the landlord imposes on your life you may have legal grounds
If you have a landlord that invades upon you rife to the point where they’re making it miserable for you, you may have a legal ground to move forward with a case. This is considered “constructive eviction”, which is illegal in most states.
I hope this article has been helpful and you have a better understanding of what makes up your renter rights. When you take the time to know and understand your rights you’ll be well equipped if the worst case scenario between you and your landlord does arise.
Zane Schwarzlose writes for Alamo Injury Attorneys, a personal injury law firm in San Antonio, Texas.