Understanding Your Rights And Responsibilities As A Landlord Or Tenant
Court Buddy Legal Services
With many more people choosing to rent instead of buy a home, it is important for both landlords and tenants to understand their obligations to each other.
Here are a list of rights and responsibilities for landlords and tenants.
Provide a habitable apartment. The apartment that the landlord rents to the tenant must be habitable according to local housing laws. If a tenant cannot live in the apartment (i.e. toxic mold or pest issues), then the tenant may be able to sue the landlord, offset rent payments against repairs made, or terminate the lease agreement.
Notify Tenant of Dangerous Conditions. Landlords must notify tenants of dangerous conditions in an apartment. For example, if there is loose carpet or flooring that can cause a trip and fall, the landlord must notify the tenant of this dangerous condition.
Allow Tenant to Enjoy The Apartment. During the term of the lease, landlords cannot bother or harass tenants. If a landlord does, then a tenant may be relieved of the obligation to pay rent. The most common example of this is if a landlord evicts a tenant.
Pay rent. Tenants are responsible for paying rent according to the terms of the lease. If a tenant does not, then a landlord may be able to sue or evict the tenant.
Maintain the apartment. Tenants cannot damage a rented apartment. The most common example is an angry tenant removing plumbing, light fixtures, or damaging walls in an apartment.
Cannot Use Apartment For Illegal Activity. Tenants cannot use a rented apartment as a place for illegal activity (i.e. gambling, buying or selling drugs). If a tenant does, then the landlord may be able to remove the tenant from the apartment, sue the tenant, or terminate the lease.
These are general rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. If you have any questions specific to where you live, please speak to an experienced Court Buddy lawyer who can review the lease agreement or research local landlord-tenant laws and advise you of your rights.