Know Your Rights as a Tenant!
There is no doubt that living on your own is an amazing feeling. You don’t have to answer to anyone, you eat and sleep whenever you want, and you can stay out as late as you please. These are just some of the perks of apartment renting.
But don’t forget that this lifestyle also comes with a higher level of responsibility. Most apartment rentals will come with a set of rules about how to maintain the place, and what you can and cannot do. For example, you may not be allowed to have pets, or even have visitors park in the designated parking lot for more than 24 hours, making it hard for you to have a guest stay for an extended period of time.
Even with these rules, tenants in rental apartments do have rights. Here are few of your rights.
- Repairs. Landlords are fairly famous for dodging tenant complaints about a leaky faucet, a clogged drain, or a defunct light switch. But they are not actually allowed to do this, and are supposed to get back to you in a timely fashion. You can also request to add it into your contract that if they don’t return your call on time, you can have a third party fix the problem, and then bill the landlord.
- Privacy. You have every right to be upset if you notice that someone has entered your apartment without consent. Technically, a landlord is obligated to give you 24 hours notice before coming in. They can only enter without prior notice if you have called for maintenance, or in the case of an emergency.
- Security Deposit Return. Before you live in any apartment, a landlord usually requires one month’s rent ahead of time as a security deposit. You will have to sign off on the condition of the apartment ahead of time, and agree to return in the same condition in order to get your security deposit back. But landlords must return your security deposit within 14 to 30 days of you leaving the apartment, even if you were evicted. If they don’t, you could bring legal action against them.
So, from two bedroom apartments to measly studios, you have the same rights. Apartment rentals that don’t have these provisions will likely be unlawful, and you should either look for different apartments for rent, or even report your landlord. This is a great source for more.