Renting can be a great way to gain access to a comfortable home when you don't have the desire or resource to purchase real estate of your own. Despite the fact that the property you are living in doesn't belong to you when you rent, you still have certain legal rights that entitle you to privacy and protection within your rented space. Knowing your tenant rights will help you identify when your landlord might be breaking the law.
Here are two signs that you can watch for that indicate a landlord may be violating your tenant rights.
1. The lease agreement contains illegal terms and conditions.
It's important that you take the time to read through a lease agreement before you sign the document when you are trying to preserve your tenant rights. Lease agreements protect both the tenant and the landlord, but many landlords unknowingly put illegal terms and conditions into their lease agreements.
If you notice language that indicates you waive your right to sue or that you must pay your landlord's legal fees should a dispute arise, the lease could be in violation of your tenant rights. Have an experienced real estate attorney review the terms and conditions of the lease prior to signing to ensure your landlord isn't using the lease agreement to violate your tenant rights.
2. You are asked to pay a nonrefundable deposit.
Deposits play an important role in the rental process. Landlords use deposits to ensure that they will have access to the funds required to make repairs once you have moved out of a property. It's important that you take the time to carefully review any deposits that you are asked to pay. Many types of nonrefundable deposits are a violation of your tenant rights, so you shouldn't pay a deposit until you know if the transaction is considered illegal.
If your landlord tries to charge you a nonrefundable deposit (which may be labeled as a pet fee, holding fee, or rental fee) be sure that you meet with an experienced real estate attorney prior to exchanging money to determine if the deposit being charged by your landlord complies with local real estate laws.
Finding a suitable rental property can be challenging, but knowing your tenant rights before you begin looking for a new property will allow you to protect yourself as you secure a new home. If a landlord tries to include restrictive terms and conditions in your lease agreement or tries to charge you a nonrefindable deposit, the landlord could be violating the law. Consult with a real estate attorney, like John M. Ogden, to help you protect your rights throughout the rental process.Share
9 June 2017
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