Home Real Estate Tenants Rights

Tenants Rights

Tenants Rights

Tenant’s Rights: An Essential Guide

As a tenant, it is important to understand your rights. Renting a property can be a great experience, but it also comes with various potential challenges. Being aware of your legal rights as a tenant will help you to avoid nasty surprises, and ensure that you are living in a safe and secure environment.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to tenant’s rights, detailing everything you need to know. We will explore the various legal protections available, as well as outlining practical advice for dealing with common issues that tenants face.

Right to a Habitable Environment

The most fundamental right of a tenant is the right to live in a safe, habitable environment. This means that the landlord must provide a property that is free from serious health and safety hazards. Performance standards such as adequate heating, functional plumbing, and lighting are among things landlords are legally required to provide and maintain.

In rented accommodation, the landlord is responsible for ensuring that the premises are livable. A landlord who fails to address dangerous or unsanitary conditions can face penalties and fines. If you feel concerned about the habitability of your rented property, it is vital to report any issues to your landlord and keep accurate records of communication.

Rent Control Measures

One of the critical issues tenants face is rent control. Landlords can increase the rent, but within the boundaries of the established regulation. The level of control over rent increases varies from state to state. Certain states have rent stabilization measures, where the maximum allowable rent rises are set by law. Some cities also restrict annual increases in rent through the imposition of rent control.

Tenant’s deposit

In almost every lease agreement, tenants pay a deposit to the landlord to safeguard the safety and security of the property. This can be used to compensate for any damage incurred during the tenancy or non-payment of rent at the end of the lease term. It is important to understand the laws in your state or city. Some laws require the landlord to keep this deposit in a separate account specifically for this purpose.

Repairs and Maintenance

A tenant can make a request to the landlord to make necessary repairs. In most cases, the landlord is responsible for repairing items which might cause hazards or inconveniences to the tenant. Request should be made in writing. If the landlord fails to carry out necessary repairs, the tenant has the option to withhold rent until repairs are made. However, these situations require a bit of legal due diligence on the tenant’s part to ensure they are not violating any laws.


A landlord can terminate a lease agreement or tenancy for various reasons, including non-payment of rent, illegal activities on the property, or damage to the property. However, tenants are also legally protected regarding their eviction. In most cases, eviction cannot happen without a court order, so landlords cannot forcibly remove tenants. Moreover, tenants can file a complaint in court if they believe they are being evicted illegally.

However, if a tenant is being evicted due to the loss of the property (i.e., foreclosure), the landlord need not obtain a court order, and the eviction process can be much faster.

Fair Housing Laws

Tenants must be aware of Fair Housing laws. These laws make it illegal to discriminate against tenants based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, family status, or disability. These laws apply to all tenants and rental properties, including single-family homes and apartments.

Eviction due to retaliation

In many states, if a tenant lodges a complaint or reports an issue to the landlord, the landlord cannot later evict the tenant in retaliation. This is known as “retaliatory eviction,” and it is illegal in many states. A landlord cannot evict tenants for lodging complaints, making repairs, or carrying out their legal rights. It is essential not only for tenants to know this, but also for landlords to understand their responsibilities to avoid potential litigation.

Agent/Fiduciary relationship

Tenants must understand that their landlords (or their representatives such as property managers) are required to uphold a fiduciary relationship, meaning they must act in the best interests of the tenants and prioritize their needs over their own. This includes routine maintenance like pest control, as well as the timely repair of amenities and appliances. State and local laws usually detail the requirements of this fiduciary relationship.


Tenant’s rights is essential information that must be known by anyone considering renting a property. State and federal laws exist to protect tenants from unfair or hazardous practices. It is important to keep informed, and if any situations arise, tenants should remain vigilant and take the appropriate legal action if required. Remember to report concerns to landlords promptly and to maintain a written account of interactions.

Your Basic Rights as a Tenant:

When you rent a property, you are awarded a series of rights. These privileges may not be infringed by your landlord or the party who owns the property. Before you rent a space, you must understand that Tenants’ rights vary between states; understanding your state’s particular tenants’ rights is essential to avoid mistreatment or egregious violations concerned with your rental property.

In general, the following list will provide a framework for tenants’ rights. For starters, if your application to rent a dwelling is rejected, you are awarded the right to know why. It is illegal—in all states—for a landlord to refuse your application for discriminatory purposes. Federal law forbids discrimination on the basis of:

1. Color

2. Race

3. Religion

4. National origin

5. Age

6. Sex

7. Family status (not allowing children, discrimination against the size of the family, discrimination against pregnant women, etc.)

8. Mental disability (past drug addiction, alcoholism, the presence of a mental condition etc.)

9. Physical disability

10. Marital status

Federal housing law forbids the following discriminatory conduct:

1. A landlord may not post advertisements containing statements which indicate a limitation or preference based on any of the characteristics above

2. A landlord may not say that a dwelling is not available when it in fact is

3. A landlord may not use a different set of regulations for evaluating applicants belonging to a protected class

4. Landlords may not refuse to rent to a person in a protected class

5. A landlord may not provide different facilities or services to tenants in protected classes or require larger deposits or treat late payments differently

6. Landlords may not terminate the rental contract for a discriminatory purpose

7. Landlords may not harass tenants

8. Landlords may not refuse rental under a “no pet” policy if your pet is a classified trainer helper animal, such as a seeing-eye dog.

It must be noted, that these federal statutes are not applied to all rental properties. The primary exceptions to these regulations are owner-occupied dwellings with four or fewer units, housing offered by religious institutions, private organizations, housing units designated for the elderly, and single-family dwellings rented without a real estate broker.

If are rejected from renting because the landlord obtained negative information about you from a previous landlord, your bank, a former employer or some other third party, you have the right to know what information was collected and why you were rejected. According to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, landlords must tell you the rejection was based on a retrieval of negative credit information that came from a source other than your credit report.

Moreover, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act also requires landlords to inform you that, during the time period after he or she informs you of the retrieval of negative credit information, you are permitted to submit a written request for a disclosure of said information. After receiving this request for disclosure, a landlord must tell you the nature of information within a reasonable timeframe. Federal law does not identify the amount of detail the landlord must provide.

Right to a Habitable Premise:

All prospective renters have the right to secure a dwelling that is fit to be inhabited. All rentals must be free from unsafe conditions, including holes in the floor, loose plaster, faulty wiring, infestations, etc. Furthermore, rental properties must be free of lead-based paints.

Eviction in Foreclosure Rights:

When economic crises cause a landlord to default on the property’s mortgage, the underlying bank will assume the role as the new landlord. When this happens, the bank will typically sell the property as quickly as possible, resulting in the eviction of tenants. Although this situation is impossible to predict or halt, the Protecting tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 provide that leases survive foreclosures. The legislation allows tenants to stay at least until the end of their lease and month-to-month renters are entitled to 90 days’ notice before a forceful move-out is realized.

In addition to the protection awarded under the act, tenants have the right to sue for breaking the promise latent in the rental contract. When a landlord defaults on a mortgage payment they are ruled accountable for the economic suffrage imposed on their tenants. To sue, file a complaint in your local small claims court to recoup the losses associated with moving expenses, apartment searching costs, difference in new and old rent, application fees and other costs associated with relocation.

Tenants’ Rights to Privacy and Repairs:

A landlord is only permitted to enter a rental property’s premises under the following conditions:

• To make necessary repairs or gauge whether repairs are necessary (this provision will fluctuate based on state law)

• In cases of emergency

• To show the rental property to prospective purchasers or new tenants

A number of states in the U.S. will allow a landlord the right of entry if the tenant is absent for more than seven days. This right is awarded to the landlord to maintain the property as necessary and to inspect the dwelling for needed repairs and/or damages. In the majority of instances, landlords are not permitted to enter a rental property to simply check-up on a tenant and the property.

Those states that regulate a landlords’ access will require the individuals to provide advance notice (typically a full day’s notice) before entering the property. In the majority of states that do not uphold the advance notice clause, a landlord may enter the premises while a tenant is living there only in the case of an emergency.

Tenants’ Rights: Rental Agreement and Security Deposit

All states in the U.S. permit a landlord to collect a security deposit when the tenant moves in. Roughly half the states will limit the amount a landlord can charge, typically no more than one or two months’ rent. A number of states will require landlord to place deposits in a separate account, while other states will require landlords to pay tenants interest on said deposits.

A landlord will use the security deposit to cover all unpaid rent or to fulfill the costs associated with repairs or cleaning that result from unintended or abnormal use. Basic tenants’ rights state that your security deposit shall not go towards remedying ordinary damage during your residency. For example, landlords may not withhold your security deposit to pay for carpet cleaning, repainting or house cleaning unless these actions were deemed necessary because of your abnormal use of the dwelling. You should protect your security deposit by taking pictures and recording the condition of your dwelling when you move in.

When your lease ends there are numerous tenants’ rights to observe regarding the recoupment of your security deposit. A landlord, as stated above, may only take funds from the deposit for allowable reasons. The majority of states require landlords to document these deductions through the delivery of a written itemized accounting procedure regarding all repairs, necessary cleaning or unpaid rent. Deadlines will vary from state to state, but a landlord will typically have a time limit in which to return deposits, typically 2 weeks to one month after the tenant moves out, either by eviction or voluntarily.