Tips To Protect Yourself As A Renter Under The Law

20 August 2021
 Categories: Law, Blog

Do you want to ensure that you are treated fairly as a tenant, but not sure what you should be doing? It's important to understand what your rights are as a renter so that you can have protection under the law. Here are some tips that will help you out.

Get Requests For Repairs In Writing

A common mistake people make happens before they even move into the place that they are renting. They may be looking around and see that there are things that need to be repaired, and the landlord promises to have them fixed by the day they move in. Unfortunately, those repairs are not made, and the renter is now in a signed lease with no recourse other than the landlord's spoken word. That's why it's important to get all requests for repairs in writing.

Even if you are walking through an apartment and the repairs are spoken verbally, get out a piece of paper and write them down. You and the landlord should sign and date the piece of paper, which should include the date that the repairs should be done by. This gives you written proof about repairs and ways to take action if the repairs are not done.

The same rule applies for any requests you make after you move in. You have a right to working electrical and plumbing, a home that is pest-free, and proper heating in the winter and ventilation in the summer. Make these repair requests in writing so that it is documented.

Know What Your Landlord Can Do To Evict You

It's important to fully understand everything that your landlord can legally do under the law. A common misconception comes from landlords that try to kick out their tenants, with landlords claiming they have rights to do things that they normally cannot do. For example, in order to be evicted from the rental property, the landlord needs to serve you with a lawsuit and successfully win the case in court. Even then, only a sheriff can be the person to remove you from the rental property. This means that you shouldn't have to deal with landlords changing locks, stealing your property, and doing other things that are considered illegal. 

One thing to keep in mind is that you must respond to eviction notices when you receive them. If you ignore them, you end up losing a lot of rights as a renter because you are choosing not to follow the proper legal procedures. 

Contact a landlord tenant lawyer to learn more.