Renting is an excellent option for those who are not in the financial position to currently buy or are looking for a shorter-term property. Whether it is an apartment, a house, or a condo that you are looking to rent, you need to make sure that every aspect of it is right for you. The rules and regulations behind renting vary depending on where you live, but there are some policies that are generally true no matter where you are renting.
In this article, we will explain five of the most important policies that every renter should know about.
The right to privacy is one of the most important tenant’s rights. Whenever your landlord requires non-emergency access to make repairs or do inspections, they are required to give you at least 24 hours’ notice. Equally, you are required to give your landlord access to your rental property if you were given proper notice, and if you refuse, this may be classified as an act of breaking the lease and could give your landlord the right to evict you. In the case of emergencies such as a major water leak, your landlord does not have to give you notice for access.
Several factors will be considered by the landlord when deciding whether or not the tenants can have pets in their rental properties. Some landlords do not allow pets at all, some may welcome them with open arms and others may be open to negotiation. Whatever the case is, you should follow the policy of the landlord, or move on to another one that is suitable for you. There is a big question over whether a landlord can stop you having a support animal and that is something that you will have to check in the details of the lease. If pets or support animals are permitted, make sure to ask about the number and species of pets allowed, and whether you have to inform your landlord about getting extra pets, whether that be through you buying another pet or your pet giving birth.
All of this information should be understood and stated in the tenancy agreement. An additional charge for pets is often the equivalent of 4 weeks rent, and if your pets cause any damage (other than general wear and tear) or become a nuisance to neighbors or other tenants, you as the tenant are the one to be held responsible.
3. Security Deposit
A security deposit is generally required to be paid to protect the landlord against damage you may cause during your rental period and there are various things that affect the deposit such as monthly rate and whether you have any pets. Different states will have different caps and deadlines on how deposits should be paid back to you, but all renters must be treated fairly.
Deadlines for the return of deposits typically vary from 14 days to 45 days and state laws will also decide whether or not interest is accrued. If all or a portion of your deposit is withheld by the landlord, you are entitled to a written notification explaining why that money was withheld.
4. Warranty of Habitability
Policies may vary by state, but the renter’s right to a habitable residence, the warranty of habitability, is universal. This means that the home must be safe to live with no dangerous conditions and with usable heat, utilities, and water as a minimum standard. Some places even require air conditioning and you should be able to find these requirements from your local authorities’ website to ensure that your rights are honored. Repairs must be made by your landlord if necessary to ensure that everything operates smoothly and in reasonable condition.
There are various reasons why your landlord can reasonably and legally evict you. You can be evicted in case of breaching the lease by not paying your rent on time, bringing people or animals into the property that are not allowed to be there or committing a crime on the premises. Your landlord may decide to give you a notice of eviction and a certain amount of time to make right whatever you did to breach the lease.
If this time is up and you are unable to do so, an eviction proceeding can be filed in court, but you will have the right to present your case. If the judgment is made in the landlord’s favor, you will be forced to pay all the expenses incurred and will then be removed from the rental property by a Sheriff or Marshall.
Rental properties give everyone a chance to live in a suitable and comfortable home even when they don’t have the funds to purchase one. When there is a good rental agreement then the situation can be mutually beneficial for both landlord and tenant. Therefore, your rights and protections as a tenant are very important so make sure you are well educated before renting any property.