There are several rights of tenants made available to a tenant when they put their signature or a lease agreement. Though some might never come into use in a rental contract, there will always be a few rights of tenants that will almost always be used to the benefit of the tenant in most rental contracts. This article will go over a few of these rights of tenants in an introductory amount of detail.
Rights against discrimination – rights of tenants – A tenant will have to go through a screening process before they can land an apartment as a tenant. The usual checks performed on a potential tenant are credit checks, reference checks, employment records, eviction record checks etc. However, some landlords will try to use personal bias as a way to screen tenants on the basis of race, color, sex or prejudice against certain people. The rights of tenants in all states will protect tenants against this form of discrimination. The rights of tenants will also allow tenants to take action against violating landlords by reporting them to an appropriate authority like a housing board or attorney general’s office.
Rights to pay limited security deposits and also expect refund of security deposits – rights of tenants – The second most important rights of tenants are rights that relate to security deposit. The rights of tenants guidelines in most states will permit a landlord to usually charge a maximum of one or two months of rent as security deposit. Some states will not pose any such restrictions although the vast majority of states will protect the rights of tenants when it comes to unreasonably large requests of security deposits. At the end of a lease, rights of tenants will allow a tenant to receive a full refund of their security deposit. The landlord may refund a reduced amount of the original security deposit if there are deductible expenses that relate to repairs in the apartment. The landlord will have to prove these expenses by providing tenants with repair bills and the rights of tenants will allow tenants to verify these bills and also dispute the charges, if necessary.
Rights to privacy – rights of tenants – Though tenants do not own the rental properties they occupy, the rights of tenants will allow a tenant to enjoy a rental property in peace and quiet. This clause is often referred to as “quiet enjoyment” in state tenancy laws. According to “quiet enjoyment”, the rights of tenants will disallow landlords from entering a rental apartment without first notifying the tenant in advance. Privacy laws will also provide rights of tenants that will allow the tenant to only let in the landlord when the landlord has a valid reason to enter an apartment, such as to carry out repairs or to perform an inspection. Privacy rights will also allow tenants to object to noisy or disturbing neighbors.
Rights to repairs – rights of tenants – A tenant has the right to expect the landlord to carry out repairs that relate to wear and tear in an apartment and in the common areas of a rental building. The apartment and rental building will always have to be maintained in a state of habitability, failing which, a tenant will have the option to break the lease without being obligated to any liabilities that might be mentioned in a lease.