A Guide to Tenants and Landlords Rights and Responsibilities
Renting a house, apartment, or commercial building can be a challenging endeavor. Until recently, tenants are protected against “slumlords,” also known as landlords who neglect their rentals. Federal laws prohibit landlords from discriminating against tenants based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, familial status, physical disability, and mental disability. Certain states prohibit the discrimination based on marital status and sexual orientation. Landlords cannot show a preference for the above classes. Landlords cannot state an apartment or house is unavailable when in fact it is, and landlords must evaluate all applications in the same manner. Landlords must make their decision to refuse applications based on credit or consumer reports without regard to their demographics. As a tenant you have the right to a habitable premises and can report the landlord to local authorities for obvious negligence. Inhabitable conditions include lack of water, heating, doors, windows, and bad wiring. For specific information contact your state’s consumer affairs office.
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- Renters' and Tenants' Rights - A collection of articles from NOLO Legal Solutions that explain the rights and responsibilities of tenants and renters.
- Tenants' Rights - A guide to tenants rights and renting a property, explains how to deal with issues that may or may not arise during the rental period.
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As a landlord you have a responsibility to provide a habitable living environment that is free from unsafe conditions and infestations. While laws vary by state, landlords are responsible for ensuring that all tenants have equal access to renting the property without regard to their demographics. In order to protect your assets, landlords have the right to request credit and reference checks with the tenant’s permission. Additionally, landlords must agree to a walk-through of the rental property before and after the lease period. Depending on the state of residency, landlords are capped at a certain dollar amount for the security deposit and rental price per month. For specific information contact your state’s consumer affairs office.
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