Tenant Rights Tips

Read these 12 Tenant Rights Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Rental Home tips and hundreds of other topics.

Tenant Rights Tips has been rated 3.1 out of 5 based on 214 ratings and 1 user reviews.

Safe And Well Lit Entryways And Hallways

Common or shared areas in your rental home or unit such as the yard, entryways, stairways, and hallways should be kept clean by your landlord. All tenants have a right to clean and well-maintained common areas in their homes.


Know Your Security Deposit Rights

Landlords are typically required to return security deposits within 14 to 30 days after you move out of the rental home. The landlord must send to your forwarding address, either your entire deposit (plus interest if applicable in your state) or a written, itemized statement describing how the deposit was applied to a pending issue in the homes for rent to back rent, cleaning, or repairs, plus the remainder of the deposit.

Should my rental unit have a smoke detector?

Working Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Detector

Tenants are entitled by law to have permanently wired working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed in their rental homes. Landlord must provide working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in rental homes for the safety of the tenant's and their guests, if there should be a fire or emergency. If you do not find one in your rental, you should contact the landlord both verbally and in writing to ensure your request and/or repair are well documented and received by the landlord.

Who is responsible for making repairs?

Tenant's Right For Repairs

At the time, the tenant moves in and the lease begins, the landlord must provide the tenant with the name, address, and phone number of who to contact with concerns and rental problems.

The landlord is responsible for making any repairs that are needed to comply with the local housing codes for the rentals area and to keep the rental safe. If the landlord refuses to make major repairs to the rental that are needed, you may report the defects and need for repairs to the local building or health inspector. The landlord may not retaliate by evicting you if you report them for un-repaired safety violations.

Unless otherwise agreed and written in the lease, tenants are usually responsible for routine minor repairs in the rental. Tenants are also required to comply with any maintenance and sanitation requirements by local housing codes. Tenants are also financially responsible for any damages that they or their guests cause at the termination of the lease.

When can a landlord enter a Rental?

When Landlord Can Enter Rental

When renting a home, a very common problem is the tenant's privacy and entering the rental unit. There have been many problems of landlords and property managers entering rentals without permission of tenants. Landlords must give notice to tenant's before they can enter a rental, except in the case of an emergency. A landlord must receive a tenant's consent before they or people hired by the landlord can enter a tenant's rental. A tenant cannot unreasonably deny access to the landlord. Below are the landlords required notice periods:

  • A landlord must give tenant 24 hours advance notice if the landlord would like to show the rental to a prospective tenant or buyer.
  • A landlord must give tenant 48 hours advance notice if the landlord wants to enter rental for an inspection or to do work or repairs.
  • The landlord does not have to give advance notice if they must enter the rental for an emergency.
  • If the landlord leaves a note on the door of rental or a message on the tenant's answering machine and does not hear a “no” back from the tenant or receive a call to reschedule, the landlord may enter the rental.
  • A tenant cannot “unreasonably deny access” to the landlord. It is a good idea to communicate with the landlord in writing when rescheduling.
Laws vary state-by-state, check with your state for specific laws and regulations on landlord notice periods.

How do I get my security deposit back?

Know Your Security Deposit Rights

The general rule about getting security deposits back is that tenants are not responsible for normal wear and tear. If you or your guests cause damage by your unreasonable carelessness or deliberate misuse, however, you must pay for it. You must leave a rental at least as clean as it was when you moved in.

Because "normal wear and tear" can be interpreted many different ways, disputes often arise. The bottom line is that the better you itemize and document the condition of the rental unit when you move in, the better case you will have against a landlord who tries to stiff you on the way out.


Tenant's Right Of Written Rent Increase Notice

If you reside in any Los Angeles homes for rent, a landlord must give tenant's 60 days' notice if a rent increase is more than 10 percent.

Can my landlord increase rent?

Tenant's Right Of Written Rent Increase Notice

Landlords are allowed to increase rent for a rental home, when the lease expires. Landlords are required to give current tenants a minimum of 30 days written notice before then can impose an annual allowable rent increase under rent control laws. Landlords can only raise rent if the tenant is not locked into a lease and providing they have given tenants the appropriate written notice
stating the rent increase and when.

What are my tenant rights?

Working Utilities, Heating, And Plumbing

As a tenant, you have the right to properly working utilities such as plumbing and heating (both hot and cold running water). If there are any problems or concerns with plumbing and/or heating, you should contact your landlord and repairs should be made as soon as possible. If your landlord refuses repairs or does not make repairs in a timely manner, you should contact a legal advisor and take legal actions to have the repairs done. Working utilities, heating, and plumbing are in your tenant™s rights and you should expect to have them.

When do I have to notify my landlord?

When Tenants Must Give Notice

You should be aware of the times when you must give notice your landlord. It is a good idea to notify your landlord both verbally and in writing, so you have proof that you notified the landlord. In most states, you must notify your landlord when your rental is in need of repairs, you plan on making repairs yourself, you will be gone from the rental longer then 7 days, you plan on adopting pets, or if you plan on vacating the rental before the lease expires.

Is my landlord supposed to provide safe ways into my rental home?

Safe And Well Lit Entryways And Hallways

As a tenant, you are entitled to have well lit entrance-ways and hallways in your rental. It is important to have well lit entryways and hallways for your safety and the safety of your guests, these will help avoid any falls when entering and exiting your rental home and provide a more secure and safer way to enter your home.

Can the lease be changed after signing it?

Get It In The Lease

Make sure to carefully read your lease, because signing the lease means you agree to everything that is there and you can be held responsible for it. If there is anything that you do not feel comfortable with in the lease you should have it changed or re-worded before signing the lease. It is better to have more in the lease and have everything clearly explained and defined then not to. If you can think of anything that may not be covered or maybe ambiguous in the lease you should speak to the landlord about having it clarified in the lease. Items that you may want clarified in the lease may include parking, snow removal, use of appliances both inside and outside, maintenance, repairs, pets, utilities, and the terms and payment of rent.

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Rental Home Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Christina Chan