Rights as a Renter – A List of Common Rights Available to a Tenant
A tenant who pays rent is often distressed by the fact that they do not own the apartment even though they make a sizeable payment every month. But, for tenants who are not in a position to purchase a home, they can at least take comfort in the fact that there are several rights as a renter that are available to them. These rights as a renter will allow them to live in a habitable environment, enjoy the apartment in peace, get back their security deposit in a timely manner and also be subject to a legal process if at all they ever face eviction proceedings. The passage below will quickly go over some of the rights as a renter that were just mentioned in a little more detail.
Right to live in a habitable environment – rights as a renter – One of the basic rights as a renter is to expect to live in rental premises that are habitable in nature. Different states have a different definitions of a habitable environment although all states will require heat, running water and a property that is free of pests as the bare minimum requirements to qualify as a habitable environment. In some states, rights as a renter will also allow tenants to expect some added amenities such as smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and working locks etc as minimum conditions for habitability.
Quiet enjoyment – rights as a renter – It is not just homeowners who can enjoy the privacy of their home as tenants have this right as well. Rights as a renter will allow a tenant to experience “quiet enjoyment of a rental property”. In other words, these rights as a renter will allow a tenant to live in a property that is free of disturbance from the neighbors and the landlord as well as the public in general. It is the responsibility of the landlord to fulfill these privacy rights available to the tenant.
Security deposits – rights as a renter – The rights as a renter will allow a tenant to get back their security deposit as long as they have not caused any damages to the apartment that will make the landlord hold back or deduct the security deposit amount. According to tenancy law in all the states in the U.S, a security deposit is refundable and it is illegal for a landlord to collect a security deposit that is non refundable in nature. Also, rights as a renter will allow the tenants to get back their refund within a very specific time period that will vary from state to state. Some states will stipulate this time period to just 14 days while some states will allow up to 45 days for the landlord to refund the security deposit. If the landlord is making any deductions to the security deposits for repairs in an apartment, rights as a renter will allow the tenant to seek a written explanation of the charges. The landlord will then have to provide an itemized list of expenses to the tenant. The rights as a renter will also allow the tenant to sue the landlord in small claims court if they are not in agreement with the charges.