My Rights as a Renter – An Example of How Tenant Rights Can be Enforced
This article will go over some situations where you, the reader will be put in the shoes of the tenant who finds himself in the following hypothetical situations. It will allow you to realize what “my rights as a renter” are. Once you are able to understand “my rights as a renter”, you will be able to stand up for yourself and even possibly sue the landlord for breaching various rights of a tenant in a rental contract.
Landlord refuses to refund a security deposit – my rights as a renter – Let us assume that the landlord has vaguely told a tenant that his security deposit has been used up for repairs. Now, this tenant is you and the rest of the article will refer to that tenant as you, in the first person. So, you are now thinking, my rights as a renter have been abused and I deserve to get back my security deposit. So, this is how I will protect and exercise my rights as a renter. I will call up the landlord and demand to see an itemized bill of the repairs as my rights as a renter will allow me to do that. The landlord will then have a few days to provide such an itemized bill. If the landlord dodges this request, my rights as a renter will allow me to pull him up in small claims court and also report him to the local housing board. When I mention my rights as a renter to the landlord, it will usually be enough to scare the landlord into refunding your security deposit if he or she was simply trying to pull a fast one on you. There might be other situations where a landlord might point to a clause in the lease that says the security deposit is not refundable. Now, my rights as a renter can be very easily exercised as there is a federal law that states that non refundable security deposits cannot be collected. The last possible situation where a landlord might try to exploit a tenant with a security deposit refund is when the delay they process endlessly. Now, again, my rights as a renter will protect me because most states post a time limit on the refund. Some states will require the refund to be made within two weeks while some will require the refund to be made within 6 weeks. Either way, I can enforce my rights as a renter by demanding the landlord to refund the money within a certain time period, as directed by state laws.
Repairs are needed but the landlord does not care – my rights as a renter – My apartment needs repairs that are caused by wear and tear but my landlord is not taking care of it. In this case, I can stop paying rent and enforce my rights as a renter to live in a habitable property that does not need basic repairs. However, I must also remember that my rights as a renter will have to be supported by a written request to the landlord, a copy of which I should keep on my person to carry out these repairs as landlords can simply say that they did not receive a request of repairs from me if I only make an oral request for the repairs.