Exploring Your Apartment Renters Rights and How to Enforce Them  
 
 

Exploring Your Apartment Renters Rights and How to Enforce Them

When you rent an apartment you will need to know your rights as a tenant. You have rights, and if you do not know them you could find yourself confused and frustrated if you find yourself in a situation where you know what is right and wrong, but are not sure if it is legally right and wrong. You need to make yourself prepared for these situations, as they happen often, so you know exactly what to do.

Your rental agreement is a written and legal agreement between you and the landlord. Your landlord cannot simply change something in the agreement without your agreement. You have the right to seek legal advice and counsel if you do not agree with any changes (verbal or written) with your contract. Pay special attention to your renters agreement when you renew your lease, as well. Your landlord may have slipped something new in there, and once you sign you are legally agreeing to those new terms, too, whether you read them or not. Never read something before reading it, understanding it, and agreeing to it.

If the landlord such as those included in your rent – telephone, cable television, is paying your utilities – electricity, heat, hot water, etc. they cannot be shut off without the company letting you know first. If your landlord does not pay the bill for any of the utilities that are included in your rent and in your lease, the company that supplies the certain utility must warn every tenant that the service will be shut off. This warning needs to get to you an advance notice that the service will be shut off. You can then pay the bill yourself and deduct that amount you are paying from your rent, since it is written in your lease that the landlord is supposed to provide it for you.

In most states, landlords must provide at least one smoke alarm that can be easily heard in the sleeping areas. Even better would be one in every bedroom with one downstairs.

They are a necessity when renting an apartment. You most likely will need a security deposit to enter a renters agreement. The security deposit is to be used to fix anything damaged (not including normal wear) after you leave the premises, and for any rent not paid after you leave. There is a certain amount of time the landlord has to return your security deposit to you with a written notice outlining any reasons for taking money out of your security deposit. If you do not receive your deposit back or do not get what you should have back you can take your landlord to small claims court to try to get what you are owed.

Your apartment needs to be sanitary and able to live in. You should have running water, hot water, heat, etc. in order to live in your apartment. If you have anything in your apartment that makes it inhabitable, you need to contact your local health department immediately.





 

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