Your 5 Tenant Rights When Renting a House

Tenants (sometimes known as “renters”) must be aware of their rights before going into a rental agreement. House rental regulations and laws are critical when renting an apartment or a property.

House rental
House rental

Right Against Discrimination

Federal law protects both prospective and current tenants against discrimination. These are known as anti-discrimination legislation. Additional regulations may apply in your state. In addition, Landlords will risk significant legal consequences if they refuse to rent to you on the following grounds:

  • Religion 
  • Country of origin
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Relationship status (such as not allowing children or single parents)
  • Disability
  • Being a member of a protected class (such as being pregnant)

Right to a Habitable Home

Habitable Home
Habitable Home

You have no legal entitlement to amenities such as lavish furniture, central air conditioning, or high-speed Internet connection (unless these were promised in a written contract).

Everyone, however, has the right to a habitable place to live. Some landlords may attempt to force tenants to renounce this privilege in the lease conditions. The majority of states have housing rules that prohibit this. Examples of what may be considered uninhabitable can be classified into two different categories:

  • Unsafe conditions (maybe due to necessary repairs take a long time to finish)
  • A significant vermin infestation (such as rats)

Security Deposits Laws

When signing a lease, most landlords ask tenants to pay a security deposit, which is subsequently refunded to the renter when the lease term expires (minus any money needed for repairs, cleaning, or unpaid rent). However, laws in most states often limit how much of a deposit a landlord may ask for and how quickly it must be repaid at the expiration of the lease. Keep in mind that renters may be required to pay an extra deposit if they have pets, plan to rent for a long duration, the apartment is fully furnished, or other elements that are deemed liabilities.

If your landlord fails to refund your security deposit, or you know it is late, give your landlord written notice before filing a lawsuit. Also, bear in mind that most state regulations set a limit on how much a landlord may demand for a security deposit, which is generally equivalent to one month’s rent.

Right to Privacy

Right to Privacy
Right to Privacy

Just because your landlord administers your rental property does not give them unrestricted access to your house. The only exception is a dire emergency, such as a fire or a gas leak. Landlords are not permitted to enter for suspected domestic abuse, although they may contact the police. However, there are times when the landlord has to enter your rental property to make a repair or inspect something, but they are required to have your consent before doing it.

Rules about Animals and Pets

Tenants do not have a legal right to have pets in their apartments. This is only a feature that a landlord may choose to provide. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) safeguards the rights of those who use service animals. This implies that even if a landlord has a “no pets” policy, he or she must enable renters who have a disability to have service animals.

Conclusion

There are many reasons why renting a house is a better option than buying one. However, house rental is no simple task. There are rules, regulations, requirements that come with it. Therefore, do your research as much as you can and always stay informed of the current rent cost.