sep Top 10 Renter’s Rights

Top 10 Renter’s Rights

October 27, 2007 – 10:51 pm

If you are currently looking for a rental, you should know all of your renter’s rights. Below is a list of the top 10 rights you have when you are looking to rent. These vary by state so it is best to contact your local government, local law firm or local certified property manager to get the laws in your state.

  1. The Fair Housing Act
    1. Hud: Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents of legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), and handicap (disability).
  2. Military Clause
    1. If tenant is an active duty member, it is important to have a “military clause” in the lease that allows them to break their lease if they are sent to a new place for duty.
    2. Sample “Military Clause”
    3. Most states allow for active military to break their lease even without a military clause but it is best to protect oneself and have one in the lease.
  3. Eviction Laws
    1. What can the landlord evict the tenant for?
      1. Not paying rent. These are known as Pay Rent or Quit notices. In most states, tenant has 3 - 5 days to pay rent after you receiving notice.
      2. Violating the lease agreement. This could be something like having pets in the dwelling even though the lease forbids pets.
      3. Doing something illegal on the premises.
      4. Tenant refuses to allow landlord to enter premises to make repairs or inspection.
  4. Breaking the Lease
    1. When can tenant break a lease?
      1. Home is just not livable and landlord has done nothing about it. Keep everything in writing.
      2. Try to find another qualified tenant to replace
      3. Pay the remaining months of rent.
      4. Be up front with the landlord.
  5. Health Code Laws
    1. All housing needs to comply with local and state health laws. This means the home must be structurally safe, mold free, weather proofed and have functioning heat, water and electricity.
  6. Privacy Rights
    1. When can a landlord enter an apartment or home?
      1. to make needed repairs (or in some states, just to determine whether repairs are necessary)
      2. in cases of emergency, or
      3. to show the property to prospective new tenants or purchasers.
      4. In most states, the law requires at lease a 24 hour period to enter the premises.
  7. Demanding Repairs
    1. Landlord is required to offer their tenants livable premises.
    2. Landlords must fix major problems.
  8. Security Deposit - The general rule is that tenants are not responsible for normal wear and tear.
    1. View chart of what is considered ordinary wear and tear from
  9. Tenant’s Property - If a tenant does not pay rent, landlords usually can’t legally seize a tenant’s property. If however, the property is abandoned remaining property defined by law could be confiscated.
  10. Attorney Fees - In some states, it’s illegal to put a provision in the lease agreement that states the tenant must pay landlords legal fees in the event of legal action.
  1. 80 Responses to “Top 10 Renter’s Rights”

  2. I was just reading something about REO properties, and how you may not be able to evict renters who live in a “rent controled” (or something like that) area…do you know anything about that?

    By Konnie McKee Your Prince William County REALtor on Oct 28, 2007

  3. Hi Konnie,

    Yes, you are correct. In some states there are Rent Control Exceptions. These are called “just cause eviction protection”

    The landlord needs to have more legal justification to evict.

    By Dan on Oct 28, 2007

  4. My lease has in writing
    “As of 11/01/04 there is a $200 non refundable sercurity deposit required up front prior to moving in for new renters.”
    Is it legal to with hold a sercurity deposit with out just cause?

    By Haeli on Nov 12, 2007

  5. Hi Haeli,

    A few states, such as California prohibit landlords from charging any fee or deposit that is non-refundable. It is best to make sure it is legal within your state by doing some research or contacting a lawyer.
    States that allow for a non-refundable deposit are Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

    By Dan on Nov 12, 2007

  6. Just moved out of my apartment in Clear Spring MD to another location. Landlord has held security deposit of $350 and wants another $900 to replace carpets and paint. The carpet was over 10 years old and stained when I moved in and wallpaper on walls was from the 70’s. Can he charge me the full price for new?

    By Sue on Nov 30, 2007

  7. Hi Sue,

    If the carpet and paint was destroyed beyond normal wear and tear, and the landlord had documented everything with photos and can prove that the carpet was destroyed because of the tenant, the landlord can take the deposit and receive more money if deposit does not cover expenses. It is always important for a tenant to take their own photos and document everything prior to moving into a place to protect the tenant against a he said / she said dispute.

    By Dan on Nov 30, 2007

  8. It seems that we are now spying on everywhere. When the world does not feel safe, schools and businesses to return to the use of electronic means. Usually, this consists of hidden cameras. Sometimes there is even a bathroom hidden cameras.

    Schools are using more and more surveillance. That should help keep students safe. It also helps solve crimes that have already occurred. Knowing the cameras have reason to think students before they came to misbehavior.

    By blackman on Jan 5, 2008

  9. I wanted to know how much notice an apartment can require you to give before moving out. we are in the state of Texas and if our lease is up on the last day of say March our apartment wants us to turn in written notice that we will be moving. They want this done 60 days in advance, which would be Feb. 1st. Can they require that we give 60 days notice to vacate and if we don’t do so what can they do?

    By vicki on Jan 24, 2008

  10. i have mice problems. Is that my responsibility to get rid of them or can i ask the landlords. We (landlord and i ) believe that the weather and undeveloped part (due to fire) of the apartments are causing the mice to come indoors.

    By Julia on Feb 17, 2008

  11. if your roommate is threatening to you by yelling and being drunk, is there a loop hole to get out of your lease?

    By annie on Feb 23, 2008

  12. My landlord never provided me with a copy of the lease nor ever had me sign anything. Although I did write him checks for due rent. I am in the process of moving before my lease is actually supposed to be terminated. Can the landlord legally take action against me for obtain the rent up to the closing of the lease? He has my name, but not previous renters history, no signature on the lease, there was no credit check, no nothing although I have informed him of my intentions to leaving the property within 5days. Can he obtain anything from me, or what type of legal action can he take?

    By Scott on Mar 18, 2008

  13. I was wondering who’s responsibility is it to paint. I have lived in this house two uears in June. We are moving next month.(military) The walls in this house was clean and I tried to keep them that way but everytime I would wipe them down it would look smudged and looks horrible. No thanks to a couple of toddlers too. The paint is cheap flat paint maybe even primer. The landlord made it seem as though I needed to get it done professionally when he did a walk through six months ago. I was just curious. I’ll paint if I have to but if it is not required then I won’t of course. Thanks

    By Marie on Mar 26, 2008

  14. i would like to know how long after an eviction notice has been signed by a jugde do you have before you have to move out???

    By tammy on Mar 27, 2008

  15. I was wondering who’s responsibility is it to paint. I have lived in this house two uears in June. We are moving next month.(military) The walls in this house was clean and I tried to keep them that way but everytime I would wipe them down it would look smudged and looks horrible. No thanks to a couple of toddlers too. The paint is cheap flat paint maybe even primer. The landlord made it seem as though I needed to get it done professionally when he did a walk through six months ago. I was just curious. I’ll paint if I have to but if it is not required then I won’t of course. Thanks

    By Marie on Mar 29, 2008


    By ROBIN on Mar 29, 2008

  17. my creepy roommates want to put up hidden cameras to see who is not participating in the cleaning. but that means invading anyones privacy. possibly cameras in the bathroom. I wouldn’t be able to tell. the person putting up these cameras works for porn company’s. I’m completely against these cameras. Is there laws against this in California houses with rented rooms?

    By crystal on Apr 12, 2008

  18. Crystal, DON”T LET THEM DO IT! Everything about it sounds WRONG! They are uing the cleaning thing as an excuse. Remember…You will be in those bathrooms too! Watch your back girl.

    By Marie on Apr 30, 2008

  19. We moved out of an apartment a month ago. We thoroughly cleaned the apartment before we left. The manager even agreed that we did an excellent job & fully expected for us to receive our refundable deposit back in full. We lived in the apartment for 3 years & he noted that it was just normal wear & tear…no damages. The owner, however, took $300 out of our $500 refundable deposit for regular cleaning of the carpets & blinds. Is this what he did legal?

    By Gloria on May 1, 2008

  20. My girlfriend is looking to move out of her apartment in Laurel, MD, over the summer. She has lived there for 5 years. Her cats have clawed several areas of the carpet to destruction, and I suspect that most of the rest of the carpet has been ruined by pet stains. The damage is certainly beyond normal wear and tear. I don’t know whether the carpet was new when she moved in. I am finding confusing and conflicting information about whether she would have to pay for the cost of replacing the carpet when she moves out. Some sources say if it’s over three years old, it needs to be replaced anyway and the landlord can’t charge. Some say that apartment carpets last ten years and the landlord should prorate any replacement charges factoring in the carpet’s age. I read above a comment that suggests that if it’s beyond normal wear and tear, the tenant simply has to pay to replace it. Understanding that laws in MD may differ from elsewhere, can anyone clarify this for me? If she has to pay to replace the carpet beyond what is in her security and pet deposits, I don’t think she can afford to move out, hence my concern. I don’t want to wait for the inspection to find out.

    By Will on May 1, 2008

  21. i moved out of my apartment and cleaned it spotless. i live in rochester,ny. how long do i have to wait for my security deposit to be returned.

    By brenda on Jun 21, 2008

  22. Hi There,

    Wondering if someone could help me out with this. We just received our security deposit back and with it was a bill for a repair for 14 ropes on old windows which were repaired. The landlord is telling us that they were all in working order when we moved in so we must have caused damage to them. It was never explained to us when we did our walk through at the beginning. If I had known it was going to be an issue at the end of the lease I would have check every single window when we moved in. Many of them we didn’t open because he didn’t have screens on them, so I have no idea if they were broken. We didn’t intentionally break cut the ropes. I would think this would be considered normal maintenance costs of owning a place.

    By Heidi on Jul 17, 2008

  23. when we moved in the carpet had stains and smelled like dogs. it still does after a second shampooing and we are being charged a pet deposit.

    By sisc on Jul 29, 2008

  24. HELP!
    I live in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company that owns my apartment building and the building accross an alley from my side of the building have put a survallience camera on the roof of the buiolding that looks directly into my side of the building. The building the camera is mounted on is a warehouse. My building is an apartment building.

    Is there anyway I can either get out of my year lease to move or are there any laws which would force them to move their camera to another location to serve their purpose? Cincinnati is in Hamilton County?

    By John on Jul 31, 2008

  25. Before we moved into our duplex we walked through with the landlord and told him the obvious things that needed to be fixed. After moving in we discovered a lot of other things that needed to be repaired or replaced. One of the major things is the berber carpet. It is old, has holes, ripped and stained and we have had it cleaned three times since moving in on December 26, 2007. When we walk around barefoot or in our socks the bottoms of our feet are, no kidding, black. Especially my two-year old son’s who doesn’t like to keep any shoes or socks on. I’ve told the landlord about us paying to have it cleaned and that it really needs to be replaced but he is very lazy and doesn’t seem to care. So, after all of that, I have two questions. 1. Should he have to pay us back for cleaning the carpets? and 2. Should the carpet be replaced at the landlord’s expense? Please help.

    By Morgan on Aug 7, 2008

  26. Also, is this against any health codes???

    By Morgan on Aug 7, 2008

  27. I’m in California and I just moved out and paid to get the capets cleaned and paid $340 for a professional. They did a good job. Now the landlord saying its not good enought that I should of had the landlord taken care of it (after I done it) so I called the carpet cleaning company to go back out there and they did (for free). Now a month later I get my deposit back with almost $300.00 taken out of it for carpet cleaning. Is there anything I could do about this?

    By Stacey on Aug 18, 2008

  28. have a friend that is moving out of an apartment. she has a small chiwawah dog and paid a pet deposit. the dog maybe urinated in a few small areas and there is no smell. the apartments carpet cleaner told the complex that the carpet needed to be replaced. I have been in the carpet cleaning business for 18 years, and i offered to give her my opinion on the carpet condition(its about a year old). they are wanting to charge her about 1000.00 for carp. replacement. I know of no other cleaning company including myself who would say it needed replacing. does she have any rights to have a second or even third opinion . she doesnt know what to do because she is living in the same complex just a different apt.

    By kenny on Aug 27, 2008

  29. In Florida, if landlord wants to kick me out for shouting, or not dusting, how much notice does she have to give me to move or where can I find the law on this?

    I’m about to sign a rental agreement with a controlling relative. Also, she wants me to sign that I can be kicked out that day if she decides to…she wants me to pay per month and be able to say it is day to day so she can kick me out. She is a fearful person under pressure of these times.

    By celeste on Oct 23, 2008

  30. I live in Del Norte county, CA. My boyfriend and I moved into a 4-bedroom house, owned by our landlady/roommate, in April, 2007. Originally, the agreement was that we would pay her $400.00/month (avg. rent for a 2-BR apt in this area is 550.00 to 800.00), and we would do our share of the cleaning, yard work, etc. We got 2 bedrooms for our private use, and free run of the comon areas of the house. All was well, until my 16-year-old son came to live with us, and suddenly “Kathy” raised our monthly rent from 400.00 to 600.00 overnight. So, OK, we agreed, and have been paying the 600.00/month for 9 months,now. Then last week, she mentioned that “by the way” the rent would be going up again, to 750.00, effective imediately. I say NO WAY!! This latest rent increase comes as a direct response to our requests for necessary repairs, and it’s not legal…Right? Oh, yeah…she has 3 indoor dogs, 2 of which are not housebroken, and the place smells more like a kennel every day. We intend to move out, in february, as soon as I get my earned income tax check.(I am a city bus driver) Until then, ANY SUGGESTIONS?

    By Krissie on Oct 31, 2008

  31. hi,
    we live in a 1 bdrm apt in mass and i found out i´m pregnant. since then we have been having some trouble keeping up with rent but we always pay it even if we are late. i was wondering, if the landlord gets tired of the rent being late if he could throw us out even if im having a baby.

    By Amanda & George on Nov 3, 2008

  32. Looking at this list, its HIGH TIME that Tenant\’s right are addressed on a NATIONAL LEVEL. this kind of business needs MAJOR regulation, we are GETTING STIFFED PEOPLE!!!!!

    I moved into a house in Triangle Va and rented from a Mr. O. Velasquez for $1500 a month, I paid him $1500 a month for OVER 2 YEARS ON TIME. IN THAT TIME, the basement flooded, ruining a family heirloom persian rug, the roof leaked in the hallway, mold started growing in teh bedroom floors and the furnace gave out in the middle of Jan-Feb-2008 wherein I bought heater in order to be able to sleep, I moved out FINALLY and bought my own house 9-26-08 and he has just mailed me a check for 500 $ in return for my security deposit of $2000 charging me for PAINT, FLOOR REPAIR and CARPET REPAIR. I will takeh im to court, IF the legislature would CARE to take a burden off of the general district courts of this coutntry they WOULD PASS A LAW FOR TENANTS RIGHTS IN THIS COUNTRY. why I give $2000 to a guy and pay ON TIME and have to FIGHT for this money back WITHOUT INTEREST IS A TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE> I WANT TO SEEE A TENANT LAW IN THIS COUNTRY. I have the ability to sue, but I think there are MILLIONS of other people who don\\\’t and are being screwed DAILY WITHOUT INTEREST ON THEIR LENDING and it makes me SICK.

    I saw my land.lord today at the old house, he was PUTTING NEW WINDOWS IN, and refused to give me back my security deposit, even tho, I had PAID 2 YEARS BEFORE DATE DUE

    By lisa on Nov 8, 2008

  33. Looking at this list, its HIGH TIME that Tenant’s right are addressed on a NATIONAL LEVEL. this kind of business needs MAJOR regulation, we are GETTING STIFFED PEOPLE!!!!!

    I moved into a house in Triangle Va and rented from a Mr. O. Velasquez for $1500 a month, I paid him $1500 a month for OVER 2 YEARS ON TIME. IN THAT TIME, the basement flooded, ruining a family heirloom persian rug, the roof leaked in the hallway, mold started growing in teh bedroom floors and the furnace gave out in the middle of Jan-Feb-2008 wherein I bought heater in order to be able to sleep, I moved out FINALLY and bought my own house 9-26-08 and he has just mailed me a check for 500 $ in return for my security deposit of $2000 charging me for PAINT, FLOOR REPAIR and CARPET REPAIR. I will takeh im to court, IF the legislature would CARE to take a burden off of the general district courts of this coutntry they WOULD PASS A LAW FOR TENANTS RIGHTS IN THIS COUNTRY. why I give $2000 to a guy and pay ON TIME and have to FIGHT for this money back WITHOUT INTEREST IS A TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE> I WANT TO SEEE A TENANT LAW IN THIS COUNTRY. I have the ability to sue, but I think there are MILLIONS of other people who don\’t and are being screwed DAILY WITHOUT INTEREST ON THEIR LENDING and it makes me SICK.

    I saw my land.lord today at the old house, he was PUTTING NEW WINDOWS IN, and refused to give me back my security deposit, even tho, I had PAID 2 YEARS BEFORE DATE DUE

    By lisa on Nov 8, 2008

  34. my landlady will not fix my heat.we moved in may. the heat was connected. she had to call the electricain out to change it over to air condition. now it’s winter and she is saying that she doesn’t have the money to get the electricain out to change it to heat. she gave me a 1 ft electric heater. i had to purchase another one. i have 2 children. she gave me some quilts(4). told me she was sorry and hoped that that would keep us warm until she able to get it fixed. then she said that i was going to have to start paying the lot rent because she couldn’t afford that. i signed a lease for 1 year. what are my rights. i am single mother with no child support working over 40 hrs weekly.i can’t afford to move. please help me. thank you

    By deni on Nov 19, 2008

  35. Wisconsin Winter; a friend of ours, a 54 year old man lives alone, pays rent every month, keeps the old house in good shape. never any problems, even fixed plumbing himself. What rights does he have in a matter where the owner may be selling the property and 200 acres, and the buyers whom donot really want the house still said they want the owner of the property to get rid of the renter in 30 days. Its winter here and the man has no where els. isnt there a law that says they cannot force him out of his house in the winter? Thanks so much!!!! Nancy

    By Nancy on Jan 3, 2009

  36. ok here is my situation i live in a private residential house and there is no lease in place.our landlord refuses to fix anything saying the rent is low so that we can do it ourself i have mold and mildew growing in every corner the whole back of my house is leaking from the roof there is no proper heat simply the heaters we have to plug in causing our power bill to be sky high there is no insulation at all i want to know if the landlord can evict me or raise the rent if i call the housing inspector?

    By amanda on Jan 3, 2009

  37. in my apt theres an attic that goes to all the aots upstairs i didnt know this so i put a screw in the door to keep it closed came in the wood was broke door kicked in from the attic urine in toilet looked porn mags chairs up there im freaked out do i have any recourse my word against the managers wat can i do??? Sue the co??? help

    By Lisa on Feb 4, 2009

  38. in my apt theres an attic that goes to all the aots upstairs i didnt know this so i put a screw in the door to keep it closed came in the wood was broke door kicked in from the attic urine in toilet looked porn mags chairs up there im freaked out do i have any recourse my word against the managers wat can i do??? Sue the co??? help have someone arrested i have 2 witnessess 2 this advice please!!!!!

    By Lisa on Feb 4, 2009

  39. Some landlords think that security deposits are a “Christmas Bonus” when you move out. Many use your funds to prepare the unit for the next sucker. I’ve been down the legal path with two landlords in my day, and I won in court. Folks, don’t let them intimidate you into believing they have the right to keep your money or make up their own laws. Any time you move, as a renter, DOCUMENT EVERYTHING WITH PICTURES!!! then, after you take the pictures seal them in an envelope and mail it to yourself. Once you get it back DO NOT OPEN IT, leave the post marked envelope sealed and place it in a folder. I went up against two formidable builders/property owners without legal consult and only had to create doubt of their honesty and integrity to win my case and get my deposits back. never back down, protect your back side, and fight for what is right because nobody else is going to. If you do NOT inspect a place before you sign a lease then you are asking for trouble…There needs to be better laws in place to protect the renter…but until then, YOU must be vigilant and stand up for what is right concerning shady landlords and their many tricks to keep your money.

    By Rev. Baker on Feb 5, 2009

  40. We recently rented a house in Fla. through a realtor, we are finding alot of home owners renting to people are not paying there mortgage and the house is going into foreclosure even though the renters are paying there rent. DO I have any rights or is there anything I should know since we have a lease agreement with a realtor and not with the owner of the house if this should happen to us?

    By chris on Feb 21, 2009

  41. I am renting a condo in a building. The HOA hates renters, the HOA president approached me when I was moving in to let me know they do not appreciate renters in their building. Since I have moved in there was an incident inwhich a door was destroyed so now the HOA is installing cameras throughout the building. I think its very intrusion, one camera is pratically fixed on the door entering my apt. Is there anything that prohibits istalling cameras without my consent?

    By Richard A on Feb 27, 2009

  42. What are my renter’s rights if I have been renting for over fifteen years on time and now can’t make a payment on time? Thanks for any information on this, I have searched the internet far and wide (on things like homesteading and such.

    By Jimmy on Apr 10, 2009

  43. Hello all (big nods to Rev. Baker and Lisa) -
    I am in So Cal, and used to be a prop mgr many years ago in WA. Due to the economy, I have had to ‘downsize’ (putting it nicely) and rent a very old, 200 unit 6 bldg complex.

    Please consider very carefully (esp what Rev. Baker and Lisa said above). We moved into a rat’s hole compared to the model shown. Appliances over 50 YEARS old! Original 50’s windows thinner than your auto’s windshield, crusted-with-rust/dusty exposed wiring in stove hood, no faucet screens (but we pay for water), carpet from previous tenant that had stains re-wicking back up *while movers were moving us in*…

    Most importantly, if anyone has friends in legislature of any kind… older apartments with NO insulation/stucco exterior (baking oven), no heating and no air conditioning should have to be subject to a fair law that *fully discloses* average night temperatures within units upstairs/downstairs** for people with or without health conditions and allows tenants to break the lease when multiple/large floor, window and ceiling fans can’t even bring the interior temp BELOW 94 F — at midnight — in warm months! It is beyond dangerous and irresponsible not to have either in place! Renters have a big voice via the amount of property taxes they pay in rent! In the meantime, if you are not aware of apartmentratings dot com, please visit that also (for multi-family units)…best of luck, everyone!

    By Nicole on Apr 20, 2009

  44. My husband and I are looking at a house, we put a partial deposit down to hold the house from being rented. Now we have changed our minds and want our money back. He told us that the deposit was refundable and now he wants to keep it. He never took the for rent sign down and we never signed a contract on the house. I need some guidance please. we live in texas. Help.

    By linzie on May 17, 2009

  45. what r my right as a tenant in a forclosed home.I moved in January the landlord has not paid taxes,water,sewer,electric nor the mortgage.He is call the rent for June already$1,400.00.903947

    By stephanie on May 24, 2009

  46. Do i give keep paying1,400.00mo or do i have the rights to sue the landlord for all the monies ive paid from january to now,including my security.Concerning the foreclosed house i live in.

    By stephanie on May 24, 2009

  47. throughout mine and my husbands 1yr lease we had major problems with the managment of our apartments and found ourselves constantly arguing with them. I guess it should have not came as a surprise when I got a phone call from a credit collector saying the apartments were trying to collect money for damages to the apt. supposedly for having to replace all the sheet rock because an animal had chewed it up and a long list of other charges…we had never had any pet except for our goldfish jack in the apt. I am just wondering what rights we have to fight these claims…and my request to have a walk through of the apartment was denied when I asked for it what do I do now??

    By Katie on Jun 2, 2009

  48. We rent a house in Stafford, Va. Our landlord cashed a check we sent them 14 days early after we made a verbal agreement on the exact date to deposit our check. It cost us close to $2000 in NSF charges and returned check fee’s. What are our rights as renters???

    By Beth on Jun 5, 2009

  49. I am a homeowner that has a renter/roommate problem. We signed a lease, I’m not out to take anyone’s money or get them for all they’re worth, and in fact I’ve been extremely leinent on terms. I’ve gone through the legal process to have her evicted for non-payment. Can someone please explain if the Landlord/tenant act applies to private homeowners who rent out rooms? What rights do I have to preserve my property from her childish and destructive behavior?

    By Sara on Jun 7, 2009

  50. my basement has always been full of black mold. I had never heard of blk mold until i moved in here. Approx. 4 mos. ago my landlord had a very small section of the foundation replaced.I believe it was because it had mold all over it. about 1 mo. later the back 1/2 of the foundation beside the part he replaced, caved completely in. it was like a mudslide in my basement.all of my property in that room was destroyed. between the weather damage & the mold,it all had to be trashed.there are still major parts of the basement that are rotting & full of mold ,are ready to cave in also! When the found. caved in, my landlord said I had 2 days 2 get everything out of that area>!No support beams, black mold everywhere, & don’t forget the fact that his bad foundation caved in because of his negligence. i have been extremely sick. Now he comes here yesterday, &tells me that I have to move everything out of the basement, including my washer n dryer.the basement is VERY TOXIC! I have pics on my camera 2 b developed of a whole wall of mold with little tiny orange worms all over it!I gave my 30 day notice yesterday! Do I have 2 b the one 2 haul all of my things that have been ruined up the steps? My hair is very noticeble that iam losing it. i have open sores all over that wont heal.My granddaughter that is 5, is sick 2 her stomach every morn. And should we have 2 stay here another 30 days? I’ve lived here for 1 1/2 yrs. if you could see haw this is affecting me now, you would notice that my health is definitely fadding.

    By julie on Jun 9, 2009

  51. I live in Louisiana. My roommate and I are currently leasing an apartment. It is the middle of June and it is already 100 degrees outside, not including humidity and the heat index. Our air conditioning has been failing to blow cold and even cool air. Our landlord has been notified twice and still nothing has been done. What can we do to get it fixed quickly before the heat rises more?

    By Rachel on Jun 18, 2009

  52. I have been staying in my apartment since 2003. I have been paying my rent and everything on time and never have been evicted. My apartment landlord has never had a problem with me. My carpet has been clean only once since I been here for free. After all of that I have been paying for it to be cleaned myself. It’s going on 2009 I still don’t have new carpet and have been told I couldn’t get it clean. What should I do? I know I should be able to get new and free carpet.

    By LaDonna on Jun 18, 2009

  53. I recently moved out of a house which i paid a $950.00 security deposit, we cleaned the house real good,it just had the usual wear and tear.It was painted with cheap flat paint when we moved in, now the landlord sent us a certified letter, which says we owe him 2.427.00 dollars. that if we dont pay he will take court action on this. What rights do i have as a tenant on this. I live in ohio.

    By don hines on Jul 3, 2009

  54. it is legal for the caretaker(not a manager) to listen in on renters, phone calls, snoop (stand by the renters door and listen in on conversations, also to have camera in building without renters knowing about it.
    also what do you think -. I was told by the caretaker the apartment above me is a so-called storage room, however, i hear water running at all times during day and night and sounds–every day 24 hours.The only time the sounds stopped is when i knocked on the ceiling and then it got real quiet for about 45 minutes. other than than the sounds continue especially at night from 11:00 pm. to around 10:00am. The caretaker even hinted he was able to listen in on phone calls from the renters and they keep their window open deliberately to hear renters conversations. When we talk regarding management problems they keep us out in the hall.

    By pat o on Jul 20, 2009

  55. had a water hose come loose from the toilet tank and flooded the entire house. landlord is trying to make us pay helf. i already saved him hundreds of dollars getting the water up and drying the carpet as much as possibe. had 5 friends help me had to feed them and so forth. should i give him the bills of all the money i have had to put out. the carpets have been ripped up and now i have to wait 3 days to see if it is dry enough to put in carpet. we are staying here in the meantime because we cant afford to stay anywhere else. who’s responsibility is all this

    By laura kellum on Aug 18, 2009

  56. I heard that under california law renters have the right to 2 mold inspections per year at the expense of the landlord. even if evidence of mold or mildew is not predominantly found.
    I found a four inch patch of mold in a closet but my landlord has not agreed to have it inspected.

    By Lili on Oct 30, 2009

  57. I am renting in one bedroom apartment from a tenant, renter!I am renting for more then 3 years, a bedroom paing $525 a month, includes electricicty a gas. Apartement from the renter tenant, that I am renting cost $666.some a month !I don’t have any reciept, written agreement, and mail! How to proove in the court that, I am living and paing, and as well have securuty deposit another $525, so the tenant treats me that he will going to change the locks, that I can’t enter in my bedroom, and harass me ! What shoul I do, how to sue him the unfair tenant ?

    By Joseph on Nov 26, 2009

  58. Ahhh….

    “Normal wear and tear”… it’s so subjective. (Sadly)

    My wife and I got out of our apartment as quickly as possible. It was AWFUL. Heck I even wrote a rap song about it (Apartment Rap )

    “Wear and tear has, in fact, a relative meaning.”



    By Beau on Dec 2, 2009

  59. I live in Califonia, we just moved in our house 4 months ago with a 1 year lease. My question is… Can a landlord rent out a house that has NO back door (noway to go into the back yard except through the garage that is located up front)and No lighting in the back yard.I am considerd disabiled and would like to go out to my back yard but its a hassel. Also, there are bars on ALL the windows so is this house a safe and legal rental?Please help!

    By laura on Dec 6, 2009

  60. I am 71 years of age and have lived in my current apartment for 39 months. Have stayed to myself and bothered no one. After only 3 months into my lease the owners son became very abusive towards me because I like others here at the complex told the office secretary that she needed to give a message to the maint. man and had not after several times I mentioned it in person and on the phone! This office girl was the owners son (maint. man) girlfriend!! I have refused to have any further contact with him and several times he has come to my door for one reason or the other and I have allowed admitance and never have I received a call ahead of time to check this or that and now when I am ill he comes to the door to check the sprinkler system without any notice (which I understand is a renters right to privacy for a 24 hour notice?) I refused him entrance and he informed me that I better read my lease..I said my lease expired and he smiled and said I expect a notice to leave shortly??

    By Doug Merrifield on Jan 13, 2010

  61. what rights do renters have if the house they are renting from a property manager gets foreclosed on without the knowledge of the property management company.

    By Bahri on Jan 21, 2010

  62. I moved into an apartment it’s my first but anyway.I paid my deposit in cash 650 dollars I asked the landlord for a reciept and he said that he would mail it to me. Well it’s a year later and I still haven’t recieved it. I ask him every month when he comes to collect the rent about the reciept and he’s always mailing it. I went to housing and they said that it was anything that anyone could do for me. Please if you can what should I do?

    By Tecia on Feb 13, 2010

  63. We entered into a lease option to purchase in Sept 2006. We agreed to a purchase price and gave $3000 as a deposit towards the purchase of the house. After the first year, the property value of the house had dropped and at that time, we agreed to release the property for another year. We put a $6500 deck on the property as a sign of good faith that we were still interested in purchasing. Along with that, the owner raised our rent part of which would become money for our downpayment when it came time to purchase. The next year, the house value was around $181000 and the owner wanted to wait yet another year as he wanted us to pay $218000. We were not in a financial position to release at higher monthly payment not to mention we would have lost out on the first time home buyers credit. We made a tough decision to move only because the owner refused to sell. Do we have any rights to receive any of our money back that we put down? Now the owner is trying to sue us for the remainder of the lease. We gave him a 30 day notice, can he do this?

    By Annie on Feb 15, 2010

  64. recently my room mates moved without notice and did not leave any money for their share of the bills. we were working out payment arrangements with the land lord and gave him well over 1,200 dollars in the last month towards catching up with what our room mates stuck us with. He shows up one morning demanding more money on the spot after trying to come into my house with out notice and when i had nothing at the moment to give him he leaves and comes back with an eviction notice. what do i do?

    By becky on Mar 26, 2010

  65. i am a section 8 client and my landlord is selling the house so he gave me a 30 day notice to vacate so i found a place and told him and he said he called housing and told them i could stay another 30 days but i never said i needed another 30 days…and ive found a place but now he is saying he cant let me go because this house is not ready for vacancy yet…and again he said to housing i could stay another now i dont kno what to do and ive already had the new place inspected and its ready to move in what do i do?

    By please help on May 25, 2010

  66. Hi, I am a single mother of four children. I live in Louisiana. I had lost my job and could not pay my rent, I recently got another job but I know that I can not catch up on my rent which is two months behind now. I was just trying to find out if when I go to my court appearance for my eviction if I have a right to ask for another month to get out due to no place to go? Or is that even posible for the judge to grant my request?

    By nancey on Jun 2, 2010

  67. Is there a legal non refundable pet deposit if there was no damage to the property?
    We were in a lease purchase agreement, we put down 2000.00 dep. and a 500.00 (supposable non refundable) pet deposit. However, the agreement says that if we buy the house we get the deposits back…nothing about if we don\’t. Well, we didn\’t…due to the builder foreclosing and the bank wanting more than the house was worth. We got our 2000.00 dep back, but the bank is refusing to give our 500.00 pet dep. back. Even after we have put 3000.00+ in a fenced back yard that we forfeited, built a very nice pergola in the back and left the house in better shape than we got it. What is my legal rights on this?

    By Melanie on Jun 4, 2010

  68. I have been 10 yrs. in my apt in LA ; no paint has been done in the apartment
    i ask my land lord to paint the walls and change the linoleum that is about 20yrs alone;
    and other repairs that are hazardous to every day living ;
    what are my right ?


    By Livio Angileri on Jul 5, 2010

  69. hi ! I just moved into a 4 bd home with my husband and 2 children. We are planning on renting for an extended amount of time around 2-3 yrs. Upon move in the master bedroom was uninhabitable due to the previous tenants pets urinated on the carpets. The landlord had a professional carpet service come in to do a urine extraction twice ! It still smelled Finally she had then come back in to replace the carpet padding. It still slightly smells like urine. Also the carpets are not nailed down & I have found junk/small garbage left by the previous tenants underneath the carpet. What can I do ? Should I just clean it up or could it be time to get the carpet changed ? Or should I just let my landlord know about the carpet not being nailed down ?

    By Reese on Jul 18, 2010

  70. I have been renting this house for 6 years the last two years I got laid off from my job I got behind in my rent but always got it together this year had outstanding car repairs total 3500 I was paying on my rent every month and informed my landlord of my situation I provided him with my car receipts to show I was not lying and to please work with me he filed an eviction notice in june court date July 13th July 11th had all monies in office except for the court fees I informed him that I cannot pay that right now but will pay an additional 50 a month in future rent payments more if I could today he had someone from his office drop of a letter notice of lease termination to vacate in 21 days, I had thought everything was okay I am a good tenate I take care of this property as if it were my own even talked to him about buying the home in the future when I get back on my feet what can I do I don’t want to move very happy here

    By karen on Jul 21, 2010

  71. I have lived on property with a mobile home on the property and a well for water for 7 years. The well collapsed in November of 2009. The landlord was contacted at that time & advised of the situation. She has been contacted repeatedly but has done nothing to repair the well or drill a new one. Yet, she still demands her rent each and every month. We have made a complaint to the County Code Enforcement division but not heard anything yet. The landlord has now given a 60-day notice to vacate the premises. What can we legally do as tenants to stay in our home? We are in Martinez, California.

    By Laura on Jul 27, 2010

  72. With all the foreclosures going on, what does one do about tenants renting a house that goes into foreclosure because the owner isn’t paying the mortgage?

    By Boise Handyman on Aug 1, 2010

  73. I have lived in a trailer for 9 years. 6 Years ago my landlady verbally approved my removal of an old (40 years old) stove and broken oven (due to a propane leak and smell). She did not replace it. I am now vacating the property. Can she deduct this from my security deposit and or demand that I replace the appliances? She is also coming onto the property (it is fenced and gated) everyday and walking around and snooping (she is not entering the trailer but just walking around the garden). Is this considered invasion of my privacy and or harassment?

    By vazime on Sep 7, 2010

  74. could anyone tell me if it is legal for a real estate agent on inspections to take photo’s (for future reference) I find this quite rude as we have never had a bad reference and this seems to be a new trend,regards joan

    By joan on Nov 9, 2010

  75. My wife and I are in our 70’s, and both in bad health. She is going through Breast Cancer, and I have a deformed back, that as I get older, prevents me from doingyard work. We have to move because we cannot afford the rent, and we have found a cheaper place, but cannot pay the landlord the last 30 days. What are the consequences please.
    Thank You

    By DAN REICH on Feb 16, 2011

  76. Ok I have a question I need help. A few months ago my gas got shut off so when the gas company came to turn it all back on and light the pilet light for the hot water tank he said there was a gas leak an he wouldnt light it so the landlord came and lit it. He promosed he was going to replace the hot water tank and he didnt I have a 15 month old and I dont think its very safe plus I have hot water leaking in my tub that he wont fix. He says its because I owe him money thats why he wont fix it but I wont give him any money until he fixes it. Can I do that? And what should I do he still refuses to fix it and its obviously not safe if the gas company wouldnt light the pilot?

    By christina on Feb 26, 2011

  77. The temperature in my room gets so hot that my dog’s water dish evaporates by the time I’m home from work. It’s obviously way too hot in here. A fan doesn’t help, and the problem has been voiced since I first moved in over 6 months ago. The landlady has been avoiding fixing the problem, and I’m wondering if there’s a law. I’m thinking about telling her I refuse to pay my last month’s rent until she fixes it. I’m only here for once more month, but this has been an unbearable situation I’ve been waiting for her to fix. This month is getting hot again in South San Francisco, and I don’t feel I should have to pay for living here if she won’t fix it. Even for this past month.

    By Carrie on Mar 2, 2011

  78. I had a friend who I verbally agreed to let live in my father’s house next door to me to help clean it up and keep looters out. He never cleaned it up, he only used it to store “junk” (furniture, tools, electronics etc.) and turned the property into what looks like a junk yard to the point that the city has cited us three times for code violations. My father verbally told him to leave the property on October 21, 2011. He continued to reside on the property and manufacture methamphetamine until he was arrested on November 17 . What rights does he have to his posessions left in the house; at what point does it become abandoned. It is due to be demolished at my father’s expense in the next three weeks. Thank you very much for any help you can give me as soon as possible.

    By Keli A Watts on Nov 24, 2011

  79. My neighbors said when you moved into their apt the carpets were covered with maggots they\\\’ve tried everything to remove it even asking the owner to replace the carpet. They\\\’ve only been there for a few months and are very clean people so is there anything they can do?

    By Maria on Mar 21, 2012

  80. Hello, I moved into my apartment complex on August 1st 2011 and the manager was eager to get me in here, I am on section 8 voucher program…ok so, I thought everything was fine and legit well a couple of months go by and I noticed we had new management in the premesis. The new management put a notice on my door stating that I have a 3-day Pay or Vacate notice if I didn\’t pay the full balance of my rent for August 2011, I immediately went down there and said what is this all about and they said\" well we are now the new management company and you are missing your rent for August 2011!\" I repied I am on section 8 they replied\" we havenm\’t got anything at all on the ledger for August for your apartment!\" I said \" well what happen to the rent section 8 paid and my 92.00, they said\" well we don\’t have it and there are a bunch of other tenant\’s we don\’t have either! We I immediately called section 8 housing and they confirmed that my rental amount was paid and they confirmed it with my apartment management too! Well, then I showed them the receipt for my portion $92.00 and then they tell me that everything is fine for now! Well, this happened again the next month 3-day notice and everything, then I showed them the receipt and they said well Don\’t worry we will figure everything out! Then, there was another management company that came in and took over and we went through this.same.scenario well, after all these months now they are saying that they got Section 8\’s copy of their portion for me and now I am going to get a 3-day unless I can show them a receipt for August 2011, when I had already went down there and gave it to them and I don\’t have one now because I gave it to them already! I don\’t believe that I should have to pay another $92.00 ….Do I have to pay another $92.00?

    By Juleen Cross on Jun 11, 2012

  81. I am renting a single family home in NC and pay over 1,200 a month in rent my landlord after a recent inspection has informed me that the water heater needs to be replaced and the air conditioning unit needs to be flushed. I received an email notice today that said that I was to contact them once it had been completed as a renter I am responsible for the repairs. I do not belive that I should have to pay for major repairs when I pay rent and make all the minor repairs. please advise. Thank you

    By TJ on Jun 25, 2012

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