Renters Rights Laws – A Brief Explanation on Common Tenancy Laws
For any rental agreement or lease contract, there are usually a number of state, federal and local renters rights laws that will oversee and regulate the contract. Though these renters rights laws vary from state to state and from local jurisdiction to jurisdiction, it would be safe to say that they are predominantly similar in principle, the principle being that all these renters rights laws were created with an intention to protect the rights and interests of both the tenants as well as the landlords. The passage below will go over a few of these renters rights laws.
Discrimination – renters rights laws – Discrimination is quite common in rental arrangements and landlords might appoint certain tenants in segregated quarters in a rental community although renters rights laws will strictly prohibit this type of behavior. The renters rights laws will also protect potential tenants against any kind of discrimination and landlords cannot be subjective when they choose tenants for their apartments. So, it would be illegal for a landlord to deny tenancy to a potential applicant just because they belonged to a race or country of origin that is not particularly liked by the landlord. Renters rights laws will also offer protection against mentally and physically handicapped people, immigration status, sexual orientation and a few other factors that might be subject to discrimination in society.
Rent increases – renters rights laws – The renters rights laws in all states will impose some kind of restrictions on rent increases. In most states, landlords will not be allowed to increase the rent of a rental property until the end of the lease. For periodic tenancies or rental agreements that go from month to month, renters rights laws will usually allow landlords to increase rent after providing one rent period as notice. If a property is subject to rent control, the specific renters rights laws set forth by the rent control board will come into effect before the landlord can increase the rent.
Repairs – renters rights laws – Landlords will always be required to keep rental properties in a habitable and safe condition with periodic maintenance. The renters rights laws will also require them to carry out reasonably quick repairs if the damages in a rental property were caused by general wear and tear. If the landlord does not perform their repair duties properly, renters rights laws will allow the tenants to break the lease and leave the rental premises without paying any owed rent. Alternatively, renters rights laws will allow the tenant to complain to the local health board which might then force the landlord into carrying out the necessary repairs. The renters rights laws in various states are quite vague about the repair clause. For example, some states will simply mention that repairs need to be carried out by the landlord in a reasonable amount of time. A “reasonable amount of time” is subject to interpretation and this is one of the reasons why most of the disputes in landlord-tenant relationships often revolve around a problem with repairs or the lack of repairs in an apartment.