4 Renters Rights Everyone in a Rental Needs to Know

August 30, 2022

It’s important to get knowledge about renters rights in case there is ever a situation in which there is a violation of the law. Learn your rights now.

When learning about your renters rights, make sure you thoroughly understand your rental agreement. Before you sign a contract, read it carefully and make sure you understand what it all means. This will protect you from signing unfair agreements that could hurt you later on. 

NOTE: The statements and representation made in this article are not meant to be construed as stated or implied legal advice. Consult an attorney to seek answers to your legal questions.

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What are Landlord Tenant Rights? 

Landlord Definition

Landlord tenant rights, or landlord tenant laws, refer to the laws put in place for both landlords and residents. These laws outline the renters rights, expectations, and duties that both parties have for themselves and toward each other. 

What are Tenant Rights?

Tenant Definition

First of all, what is a tenant? This is someone who lives on a rental property. Some other words that are often used are renters, residents, occupants, leaseholder, or lessee. This is the person who is living in rental housing and paying rent. 

My Renters Rights

Your renters rights are there to protect you as someone who has signed a lease agreement and is paying rent. These laws can protect you if you don’t want your landlord to retaliate against you unfairly or if you want to avoid housing discrimination, and can even keep you safe from sexual harassment from property management. 

State laws may vary with regards to renter and landlord responsibilities, but many of these laws and regulations are similar across various state laws. 

1. Renters are Protected from Housing Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) was enacted in 1968. There was already the Civil Rights Act enacted in 1964, but the FHA extended the protection that the Civil Rights Act gave to renters and landlords. With the FHA, landlords cannot discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, religion, sex, familial status, or disability in advertising or rental applications.

2. Renters Have a Right to a Habitable Home

Habitable home graphic

The Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (URLTA) was enacted in 1972. It states that residents have a renters right to safe and clean living conditions. 

As someone who rents a property, you have a renters right to a rental property that meets certain requirements for habitability. Landlords have a legal obligation to maintain their rental properties and respond to renters who file a complaint in a reasonable amount of time. 

3. Renters Have a Right to Privacy

Privacy Graphic

A landlord may own a rental property, but that doesn't give property management the right to enter or use the rental property whenever they want. In a standard lease agreement, renters are entitled to a level of privacy.

This means that landlords can only disturb their renters when there is an emergency, a repair needs to be made, or the landlord wants to show the rental property to a potential buyer. In these instances, the landlord must provide at least 24 hours notice before entering a property that a lessee pays monthly rent on.

4. Renters Have a Right to a Copy of the Rental Contract 

Rental Contract Graphic

If you sign a lease agreement or a sublease agreement, you have a renters right to a copy of this agreement. This rental contract outlines the terms of your rental agreement like how much your rent payments are and any other terms and conditions of your rental agreement. 

If you ever need legal aid or you need to file a complaint, you'll want to have a copy of your rental agreement handy. 

What are Landlord Rights?

First of all, what is a landlord? A landlord is someone who owns a rental property and rents a property out to occupants. Some other words that are often used in place of "landlord" are property owner, proprietor, lessor, or property management. This is the person who owns, manages, and maintains a rental property for the residents. 

My Landlord Rights

Your landlord rights are there to protect you as someone who owns and rents a property. These laws can protect you from issues with occupants or the property. State laws may vary with regards to landlord rights and landlord responsibilities, but many of these laws and regulations are similar across various states.

 1. Rental Property Maintenance

Screws getting fixed with wrench

Landlords are required to maintain their rental properties to a reasonable degree. They must keep their rental properties clean, safe, and sanitary. But landlords also have a right to expect their leaseholders to maintain the property they rent to a certain degree. This protects landlords when renters cause property damage. 

2. Make Repairs 

24 hour notice graphic

Landlords have a right to enter the rental property when necessary for things like emergencies or necessary repairs, but they must provide a notice of entry at least 24 hours before they plan on entering the premises.

In Conclusion,

Whether you're paying rent or an owner of rental housing, it's important to know all about renters rights and landlord rights. Both renters and landlords need to know about landlord renters rights and laws so that both parties understand what is and isn't expected of them.