5 Of The Most Common Questions About Renters’ Rights

A calendar with rent due marked on it

Know your rights, tenants! So we’ve made a guide that provides answers to the five most common questions about renters’ rights. This will include questions like ‘Can I deny entry to my landlord?’ ‘Who is responsible for maintenance of common areas in my apartment?’ and more!

What are Renters’ Rights?

That is to say, renters’ rights, they are local laws that govern your living space. It gives the tenants a legal recourse if the landlord fails to maintain their property.

So some common questions about renters’ rights we’ll be covering are:

  • Can I deny entry to my landlord?
  • What to do if your landlord won’t fix anything in your apartment?
  • Can a landlord kick you out?
  • Who is accountable for the maintenance of common areas in my apartment building?
  • Is my landlord harassing me?

1. Common question about renters’ rights: Can I deny entry to my landlord?

To answer one of the most common questions about renters’ rights: Yes, a tenant can deny entry to a landlord based on their right to privacy.

For common repairs and house improvements or to show the apartment to a prospective tenant or purchaser, the landlord needs to give the tenant a 24-hour notice period and arrive at a reasonable time.

Are there any exceptions?

If an emergency strikes that requires the landlord to be present, e.g. if a tenant has abandoned the property or there’s a police investigation for a reported crime, the landlord has the right to enter the property.

2. Common question about renters’ rights: Can my landlord refuse to fix anything in my apartment?

A tenant has a fundamental right to a comfortable home, regardless of what’s written in your lease! So to answer a common question about renters’ rights: The landlord must maintain your unit during your tenancy.

So what should I do if my landlord does refuse?

Additionally, the tenant has a lot of options available if the landlord is refusing to make major repairs. Options include alerting a housing inspector if the problem violates building code.

In many states you can withhold your rent until repairs are made. As a tenant, you can also deduct the cost from your monthly rent with consent from the landlord. Moreover, you can even go to the small claims court and sue your landlord; you may be able to get your rent reduced.

3. Who is accountable for the maintenance of common areas in my apartment building?

To answer this common question about renters’ rights: Landlords are responsible for maintaining common areas as mandated by state law. When you talk about maintenance of common areas in your apartment, it implies that cleanliness and safety are taken care of.

What if my landlord isn’t complying?

However, if your landlord is not addressing these issues or is unresponsive, you can get assistance by contacting the local government office based on the violation of health codes, safety codes and/or failing to maintain housing standards.

4. Common question about renters’ rights: Can my landlord kick me out?

To answer this common question about renters’ rights: It is illegal for the landlord to change the locks or throw out your belongings. A landlord cannot just kick you out.

Can I get help if my landlord tries to kick me out?

Additionally, they need to follow a formal process of eviction that the state provides. You can sue the landlord if they force you out of the apartment. You can also get compensation for damage to your belongings and other related losses.

5. How do I approach the problem of my landlord harassing me?

Harassment from landlords can be quite a nerve-wracking experience. It can lead to worrying about your mental health and safety. And obvious forms of harassment include violating your right to privacy by showing up unannounced or at odd hours. Harassment also includes spreading false information and defamation.

So when should I inform the authorities?

To answer this common question about renters’ rights: A landlord cannot disrupt your work environment by spreading false information about you to your co-workers or employers. Some landlords even break the law by spying, assaulting, or sexually assaulting their tenants. If you have experienced this extreme form of harassment, you should get the police involved.

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers know about the most common questions about renters’ rights? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!