If you recently rented an apartment or a house, you should know what rights you have as a tenant, and how to protect yourself against unfair or discriminatory treatment by your landlord. This video discusses the five things you can do to ensure your rights are protected and how to understand tenant law!
First, be sure to get everything in writing. This can be as simple as jotting everything down on a piece of paper, with both your signature and the landlord’s signature, as well as any projected dates the landlord is promising you.
It can be a red flag if the landlord is hesitant to sign anything, and you should proceed with caution. Make sure any repair requests are written down. You have a right to basic decent living conditions and if you find yourself in a situation where you may go without heat, or clean water, get legal help before you are stuck in an unlivable environment.
There are certain things a landlord has the right to do, but there are also actions they cannot do. For example, you cannot be evicted without a court proceeding, the locks cannot be changed, the utilities cannot be shut off, and your personal items are not to be touched. If you do come home to an eviction lawsuit, be sure to act immediately because if you ignore it, you will lose the case no matter what.
Finally, once your lease is over, be sure to get your security deposit back if it is owed to you! Knowing your rights as a tenant can keep you protected.