Tenant law is a legal term that refers to the law and regulation determining the rights of residential tenants. It encompasses a wide range of topics, including security deposits, leases, and rental agreements, rent control, evictions, discrimination based on housing status, foreclosure actions against tenants by creditors of landlords, and local zoning laws that impact residential rentals. When a landlord or property manager contracts with a tenant to occupy the premises, they create a legal relationship governed by state and local statutory and case law. A tenant lawyer can:
- Help you understand the terms of your lease or rental agreement
When you sign a lease or rental agreement, you agree to certain terms and conditions set forth by the landlord. A tenant lawyer can review your agreement and help you understand what you agree to. If there are any terms that you do not understand or agree with, a tenant lawyer can help you reach an understanding with the landlord to amend the lease. When your lease is up for renewal, you may have to agree to certain terms, but a tenant lawyer can help you negotiate a new lease agreement with the landlord.
- Protect your rights
Landlords and property managers are allowed to refuse tenants on a case-by-case basis. But suppose the landlord makes an illegal decision regarding tenant screening, a form of compensation they would receive, or other policy violations. In that case, a tenant lawyer can help you file an unlawful detainer action to protect your rights. If the landlord refuses to honor their obligations under the lease, the tenant can file an eviction lawsuit. With the help of a tenant lawyer, you can protect your rights and ensure that you do not get evicted unfairly, improperly, or illegally.
- Review the damages caused by the landlord’s actions
Landlords and property managers are only permitted to raise the rent on the first of each month. A landlord cannot raise rent before the first of the month. The landlord is also not permitted to evict a tenant for complaining about the property or for exercising their legal rights as a tenant. Suppose the landlord does try to raise rent illegally or evict a tenant for legally exercising their tenant rights. In that case, a tenant lawyer can help you hold the landlord responsible for their actions.
- Help you get your security deposit back
When you move out of a rental property, the landlord is required to return your security deposit to you within a certain period. If the landlord does not return your security deposit, or if they only return part, you can file a lawsuit against the landlord to get your money back. A tenant lawyer can help you understand the law surrounding security deposits and can assist you in getting your deposit back from the landlord.
- Assert your rights if you have been discriminated against
It is illegal for a landlord or property manager to discriminate against tenants based on race, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability. If your landlord has discriminated against you, you can file a lawsuit against the landlord. A tenant lawyer can help you assert your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
Discrimination in housing is a serious issue, and if you believe you have been a victim of discrimination, you should speak to a tenant lawyer as soon as possible.
A tenant lawyer is an important part of the rental process. They can help you understand your rights as a renter and protect you if something goes wrong with your lease agreement. Contact a tenant lawyer today if you’re looking for someone to help you navigate the complex world of renting.