A renters right list is actually a collection of rights that are automatically available to a tenant once they take up residence in an apartment by paying rent to a landlord or rental agency. There are federal, state as well as local city ordinances that will finalize a complete renters right list that is available to a tenant, depending on where they reside in the U.S. This article will try to broadly explain the typical renters right list that is available to tenants in all 50 states of the U.S.
Renters right to fair housing – renters right – One of the most basic renters right is one that makes them eligible to fair housing. This will mean that tenants cannot be discriminated against on any basis such as sex, color, country of origin, handicapped status etc.
Renters right to a habitable rental property – renters right – The renters right for a tenant will also allow the tenant to always expect to pay rent for an apartment only if it is in a habitable condition. According to U.S. tenancy laws, a habitable apartment should be one that will have to meet certain conditions, being able to provide heat, running water and weatherproofing. Additionally, the renters right will also allow a tenant to expect a property that is free of any kind of rodent infestations and also a property that is secure with good doors and windows in working and able condition.
Renters rights to repairs – renters right – This renters right is somewhat related to the habitability clause just mentioned above. If a rental property goes into disrepair, the landlord will be required to carry out necessary repairs in a reasonable amount of time. However, tenants have to understand that the landlord’s obligation to carry out repairs only extends to wear and tear repairs and not damages caused by the actions of the tenant. For example, a tenant cannot expect to break a window themselves and then try to use their renters right to repair to demand the landlord to carry out the repair. In fact, in this particular case, the landlord will be able to charge the tenant with the repair and possibly deduct the repair expenses from the security deposit amount of the tenant if the tenant refuses to pay for the damage.
Renters right to a proper eviction process – renters right – Eviction laws are very much in favor of tenants and all landlords will have to go through a rather long and drawn out eviction process in the courts to obtain an eviction notice. Even when the court issued an eviction notice, only the sheriff’s department can forcibly remove the tenant from a rental property and a renters right will protect the tenant against any harassment, trespassing or intrusion from a landlord who has not obtained a court ordered eviction notice.
Apart from these common rights available to a tenant, a renter will also have specific rights when it comes to other clauses of a rental contract such as increase in rent, notice periods, types of leases, security deposits, privacy and so on. One may read through the other pages in this site to learn about other such rights.