Leasing Laws and Legal Rights for Tenants

An apartment rental or lease agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant which lays out the conditions by which a tenant rents a property. The lease itself very often provides a renter ’s most important rights. It guarantees him a house through the whole period of the rental provided he abides by the conditions in the agreement. Federal, state and local legislation additionally provide a multitude of rights and protections, whether they’re included in the rental or not.

Fair Housing

The federal Fair Housing Act, signed in 1968 from Lyndon Johnson on the insides of the Civil Rights Act, prohibits discrimination in the rental, sale or financing of housing based on color, race, national origin, sex, familial status or handicap –which are collectively referred to as protected classes. A landlord can’t state an apartment is unavailable when it’s open or steer you to a different complicated because of your race. He can’t evict you because you adopted two children along with the other tenants are without children. In conclusion, he can’t base any of the leasing choices on your membership in a protected class.


While national laws pertaining to housing rental apply nationally, many renter rights vary widely from state to state. The eviction procedure –what type of notice is required and how long the process takes–changes regionally. A couple of countries, like New Hampshire, restrict eviction to cause–like failure to pay rent or violating another condition of the lease. Other states regulate certain aspects of a home. In California, for example, there’s a cap to safety deposits of more than twice the monthly rent, and the process and timeframe regarding the return of the deposit will be controlled.

Rent Control

Rent control is a neighborhood law limiting rent increases and also usually limiting evictions. When some countries are without any localities having rent control, in others it’s commonplace. In California dozens of cities have some sort of rent control, including San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Santa Monica. Every ordinance differs. San Francisco’s rent control ordinance, for example, also modulates how much attention has to be given on safety deposits, how rent increases can be “banked,” or held over, and mandates that landlords notify tenants of the right to get in touch with the town ’s lease board for questions or complaints.


House rules can be contained in a rental. Standard house rules comprise designated quiet occasions, pet policies, process for trash removal, cleanliness and maintenance requirements, garage and yard limitations and parking guidelines. Sometimes tenants wrongly believe they can be evicted only for failure to pay rent. Violation of any rental term, including house rules, can lead to an eviction.

Other Considerations

In states and cities with no just cause flooding necessity, the only protection a renter has against flooding is a set duration to the rental. If the expression has died or the rental was originally written for a month-to-month basis, the landlord can evict you without cause. If you’re worried about this issue, request a lease which specifies the length of the tenancy.

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