Knowing Your Rights as a Tenant

by Mary Anne Ragragio

Posted on 2019-08-13 20:17:01

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As a tenant, you also have a number of rights, like your landlord. A tenancy agreement, which was signed by you and your landlord, is your temporary possession of the property for a period of time, usually a year.  Your tenancy agreement does not only tell you your responsibility as a tenant but also gives certain rights and protection. Making yourself aware of your rights as a tenant will protect you legally.

Here are some things that will help you understand your right as a tenant.

According to The Fair Housing Act, landlords are not allowed to refuse tenant base on their tenant’s national origin, familial status (this includes against pregnant women and families with kids), sex, religion, and physical or mental disability.

You have the right to know in case your application for tenancy was rejected and the nature of information your landlord received.  

You have the right and entitled to live in a habitable or in a good enough living environment. A landlord is responsible for fixing repairs so the tenant can live in a property that’s safe and in a good condition.

You have a right to privacy. Your landlord also has the right to enter your unit property but must provide notice first. Some state requires a landlord to provide the tenant with a 24 to 48 hours notice, and notice must be reasonable. A landlord doesn’t need to provide you with a notice to entry if there is an emergency situation.

You have the right to get your deposit back. It is your right to get your deposit back at the end of the lease. There might be some deduction due to unpaid rent, for cleaning and restoring the unit where you lived if in case there is any major damage to the property. You may ask your landlord for a list of whatever deduction he made on your deposit.

If you feel that you are being treated unfairly, you may check your state’s law regarding tenant-landlord rights. To help you protect yourself as a renter, it is important that you read and understand everything that your lease states. And if you have questions about the agreement, don’t be shy and make it clear with the landlord before you sign your lease agreement.

Though tenancy agreements tell you your rights as a tenant, remember that you also have some responsibility as a tenant.  It is important that you also must share some responsibilities as a tenant because this will protect you and help you avoid a breach of contract. Here are some basic things to remember:

  • You must pay the agreed amount of rent on time.
  • Pay utility bills or other charges if there’s any that you and your landlord agreed in your tenancy agreement.
  • That you must also take care of the property. To make sure that you don’t cause any damage to the property. Failing to do so will cause more damage in the long run. And you might be responsible to pay any damage that you or your guests made. In case, that you notice something to be repaired, you must coordinate that matter right away to your landlord or property manager.

Renter’s right may differ from each state. That is why it is important for tenants to check their local state regarding their rights as a tenant.





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