12 Little Known Rights of Renters
Still waiting on that security deposit check? There are laws in place to ensure a quick return. Learn more about it and 11 other rights of renters.
Repair and Deduct
In some states, according to Money Under 30, tenants can pay for repairs that affect health and safety, like when their hot water is out or the roof is leaking, then deduct the repair costs from the rent, provided it isn’t more than the monthly rent. Just make sure to document everything. If you're fixing stuff around your rental, you might want to really consider whether renting is better than owning.
If the conditions get so bad renters can abandon the apartment if it’s inhospitable, according to Money Under 30, and stop paying rent. Some of the things home inspectors see will make you think a place is inhospitable like some of the places in these 100 super scary home inspector photos.
Most states have a deadline for how long a landlord has before they must send you your security deposit. Usually it’s around 30 days but sometimes it’s fewer. Make sure you get your security deposit back with these helpful hints that will save you money.
In most cases a landlord has to give you 24 hours notice before entering your residence. There can be some clauses in the lease that might say differently so review your lease carefully so you know the rule on when and how a landlord can enter your place. Even small noises where you live are frustrating, find out what those little annoying noises are and how to fix them.
You Can Refuse Your Landlord’s Entry to Your Apartment
If you haven’t been given proper notice by your landlord of a request to enter your place, you can refuse them entry. You can even take a landlord to small claims court if they enter your residence without proper notification.
Apartment living is kind of dull with the usual beige walls and utilitarian blinds, find out these genius ways to personalize an apartment.
Landlords Must Remove Bed Bugs in Many States
Most states require that landlords handle the removal of bed bugs from residences though some states allow municipalities to decide specifically. Check the EPA’s website to see how your state handles bed bug infestations and the requirements of landlords. Bed bugs are bad but we'll show you 10 other disgusting bugs and how to get rid of them.
Peace and Quiet
Standard lease agreements usually contain a “quiet enjoyment” clause that gives tenants the right to occupy their residence in peace. It also means they can’t disturb their neighbors. If your neighbor is being noisy, let the landlord know. Maybe you'd like one of these gorgeous reading nooks.
Burglary and Theft
If you have property stolen and think the landlord is at fault you can file a claim through your renter’s insurance. Always make sure your residence is secure before moving in because you don't know the 35 things a burglar doesn't want you to know. Prevent important things from getting stolen with the best secret hiding spots in your residence.
If a Landlord Chooses to Evict You, You Can Stay There
Each state has a different set of rules for eviction but your landlord will file a lawsuit. If the landlord wins the lawsuit the sheriff will have to remove you. The landlord can’t simply dump your stuff in the street.
Trying to rent your apartment on Airbnb or something similar is usually covered by the subleasing restrictions in a lease agreement but depending on a renter’s relationship with the landlord, it might be a possibility. Make sure to research local laws or ordinances before trying to offer your apartment as an Airbnb. There have been plenty of cases where landlords have evicted tenants for even posting their apartment on Airbnb. Thinking about Airbnb? Here's what you should know.
It’s well understood that discrimination in renting is illegal but landlords can still ask for proof of an applicant’s right to be in the U.S. However, if a landlord does so, they must ask all the tenants for their immigration status, not just those whom they suspect might have immigration issues. Find out if renting is better in your state or if it's time to think about buying.
Victims of Domestic Violence
Victims of domestic violence, including stalking, can terminate a lease prematurely provided the renter gives proof. Additionally, in some states, landlords can’t use calls to police for domestic violence situations as a basis for eviction or make the tenant pay for those calls.