As a tenant, you have certain renters rights that you may not know about. Here’s how to take control of the situation.
Nearly everyone who has ever rented an apartment or other property has a horror story about a difficult situation with their landlord. There are two sides to every story, of course—every landlord probably has a story about a difficult tenant! There is also the fact that stories tend to be exaggerated over time and are probably a misrepresentation of what really happened. While many renters are eventually able to look back on these difficult situations with a lighthearted, humorous lens, when renters find themselves in what they perceive to be difficult situations with their landlords it can be a cause of major stress in the moment. One of the reasons a disagreement or even a miscommunication with your landlord can seem so stressful is because you don’t have a good understanding of renter’s rights. That’s right, contrary to the belief of many; renters actually have a considerable amount of rights in a rental situation. Even if you don’t have to invoke them, knowing these rights can be a powerful tool and bring peace of mind to the rental process. So how does one go about learning these rights?
There is information about everything on the internet. If you’re a good researcher, you can get a pretty good handle on basic renters rights in less than an hour using a search engine. As with any internet research, however, it is important to consider the source of the information to avoid making a mistake that could literally cost you in the long run.
Talk With A Local Attorney
Internet research is great if your goal is to get a general grasp on the concept of the rights of renters. If you have a specific issue, though, it would be best to talk with a local attorney who specializes in the rental process and rental agreements. This is because tenants rights and regulations vary from state to state and even from locality to locality. If you feel your rights, as a renter, have been violated or are in the middle of dispute involving potential monetary damages, it is advisable to speak with a local attorney.
Most cities have a tenant council or organization that helps tenants. They are usually well aware of the local, state and federal fair housing laws. Those laws protect tenants from discrimination, unfair application questions, and insure fair treatment for everyone seeking a rental.