Renter's Rights

September 30, 2016

When deciding to rent an apartment understand your responsibilities and rights as an apartment tenant. 

A lease is a written agreement between you and your landlord. Please read the lease carefully before signing, at any point if it appears unclear, discuss it with the landlord. The lease should tell you how much your rent will be and for what period of time your contract is active. Furthermore, it should explain what services your landlord provides, such as those related to painting and repairs. Additionally, if this information is not provided, ask your landlord to state on the lease how repairs and other maintenance concerns will be handled. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, keep a copy of the signed lease in a safe place until you have moved from the apartment. A security deposit is usually required to offset the landlord's cost of repairing any property damage you cause. Before you sign the lease and move in, find out what is covered by your deposit and what conditions there are for a refund.

If your landlord deducts any damages when you move out, the landlord is required to provide an itemized list of the damages he deducted, including the amount and reason. Compare his list to the list you wrote down before you moved in. Let your landlord know immediately if there are items you disagree with. If you don't, you may lose your rights to contest the damages, also losing some or all of your deposit. Under certain circumstances, a landlord may have the right to require the tenant to move with very little notice. Reasons may include disputes with other tenants or failure to pay rent.

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