Anyone who has signed a lease and become a tenant has the right to a safe and habitable dwelling. This is spelled out in nearly every state’s landlord/tenant legislation. Whenever a tenant signs a lease and enters into a landlord/tenant relationship, they take on certain obligations and receive certain rights in return.
It is very easy to become a tenant, right after signing the lease document with your landlord, you assume this new status. Every tenant has the right to live in a home that is safe from environmental hazards and has safe locks on the doors. It is a tenant right to have a working smoke detector in the apartment and to know that the plumbing and heating in the apartment is in good working order. In apartments where these things have not been provided, the tenant is entitled to make a complaint to the landlord. The landlord is obligated to attend to the matters and rectify them within a reasonable period of time.
It is also a tenant right to have an apartment that he or she is entitled to live in with “quiet enjoyment.” This is an often misunderstood term that many people think entitles them to live in an apartment that is free of extraneous noise. What it actually refers to is the tenant right to live undisturbed from interference on the part of the landlord. This means that the landlord is not permitted to harass the tenant or come and enter the dwelling without first serving notice. Usually this notice must be at least 24 hours in advance of when the landlord intends to enter the dwelling. It is best if it is given 48 hours in advance. The landlord is not permitted to enter a tenants’ apartment, except in an emergency situation, without first giving this notice. Failure to provide proper notice means that the landlord has technically trespassed into the tenant’s dwelling. Even though the landlord might own the property, the law recognizes that the tenant has a right to privacy.
Once a tenant has vacated the premises, if he has left any of his or her own personal property behind, it becomes the property of the landlord who may dispose of it as he or she sees fit. There may be laws in the state in which the property is located which dictate how the property may be disposed of. Any tenant who is questioning how his or her property may have been disposed of after they have moved out of an apartment should contact their office of the department that mandates landlord/tenant law.
Tenants must know that a landlord has the right to receive the rent payment on time. If a tenant writes a check to a landlord that does not clear the bank, the landlord is entitled to recover any bank fees he or she may have been charged by the bank from the tenant. Tenants who habitually pay their rent late may be subject to eviction by the landlord. Each state has different laws which govern how an eviction can be carried out.