Renter's Legal RightsAuthor: Phillip Braswell
Have you ever had a dispute with your landlord? If so, if you had know your renter's legal rights beforehand, some of your problems would have been alleviated. Let's look at some of your lawful and legal rights. These rights could be of help both to you and your landlord. Don't assume your landlord knows all the laws and is never wrong. This article will help educate you on what you can expect as a renter.
1. Applying for an Apartment
The government says that you have the right to apply for an apartment without being discriminated against because of your race, gender, color, religion, age, nationality, physical or mental disability or family status. Another renter's right is to know why your application was rejected, if you are denied housing.
2. Signing a Lease
WARNING: Make sure you read your lease carefully, especially the fine print. It would be a good idea to have your attorney review the lease. Signing the lease without reading it completely might cause you to unintentionally forfeit some of your renter's rights, such as requesting the landlord pay for apartment repairs.
3. Maintaining Your Privacy
Renter's legal rights include the right to privacy in your own home. In most states, unless in case of emergency, a landlord should give you at least a 24 hour notice before coming into your apartment.
4. Requesting Repairs
Your apartment must be in livable condition. Heat, water and electricity must be provided and the unit should be free of any safety hazards. If your apartment is in disrepair, you have the right to withhold part of your rent, make the repairs yourself and bill the landlord, report it to a building inspector or moving out without the penalty of violating your lease.
5. Getting Sued by Your Landlord
If you are sued, you have all of the following rights:
* The right to receive proper notice in a timely manner
* The right to make amends (pay the overdue rent, fix the lease violation)
* The right to appeal the lawsuit
6. Getting Evicted
There are three types of eviction notices.
1. A Pay Rent or Quit Notice gives you 3 to 5 days to either pay your overdue rent or move out of your apartment.
2. A Cure or Quit Notice may be given to you if you are in violation of your lease (such as illegally owning a pet or causing frequent noise violations). This type of eviction notice gives you a set amount of time to either fix your bad behavior or move out.
3. The third type of notice is an Unconditional Quit Notice. This type of eviction letter simply orders you to leave. It gives you no chance to redeem yourself. This type of notice is usually reserved for a particularly bad offense such as making repeated lease violations, causing serious property damage or conducting illegal activity in your apartment.
7. Receiving Your Security Deposit
The best way to ensure you receive 100 percent of your security deposit back after you move out is to do an initial walk-through when you first move into the apartment. Document any damages you find such as carpet stains, broken appliances or streaks on the walls. It is also a good idea to take photographs of the damages so that you can prove they existed before you moved in.
Most important of all for a Renter's Legal Rights is that the renter keep an open line of communication with their landlord. Communication is a big key along with staying educated and up to date on any changes in your rights.
Think you are being mistreated by your landlord? Want to be able to discuss your rights with an experienced real estate attorney at an extremely affordable rate?
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