As a renter, it’s vital to determine the top state and federal laws that affect your rights and responsibilities. You can be a better and more informed tenant by knowing these laws. This might assist you to have a better experience and avoid issues with your landlord someday. The following are a couple of the most important laws you should know about as a renter:
- Warranty of Habitability. Even though it goes by different names in different states, typically implied warranty of habitability laws are state laws aimed to assure that your rental unit is livable. This implies the rental home meets certain minimum standards for things such as heat, water, and electricity in many states.
- Choosing a Tenant. State and federal laws provide landlords the right to choose their tenants. However, the laws also indicate that a landlord’s decision must be based on creditworthiness, income, or past history. They should not refuse to rent to someone based on characteristics including skin color, religion, sexual orientation, familial status, and disability.
- Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act is a federal law that prevents landlords from discriminating against tenants based on protected characteristics such as race, religion, gender, national origin, and disability. This law was enacted in 1968 and permitted renters who feel discriminated against because of one or more of these characteristics to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), regardless of which state they live in.
- Limiting the Number of Children. Under the Fair Housing Act, a landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant based on how many children the tenant has. The law also specifies that a landlord cannot prohibit children from using outdoor or common areas.
- Service Animals. Under federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals count as a reasonable accommodation, and landlords cannot just prohibit them. Nor can they charge an additional pet fee or raise the rent for the reason that you own a service animal. On the other hand, landlords can require that a service animal is vaccinated, licensed, and registered according to all state and local laws.
- Discriminatory Advertising. HUD’s federal Fair Housing Act also states that landlords cannot employ discrimination in their advertisement of a rental property. For instance, publishing an ad stating that the landlord will not rent to single adults, people of a certain age, or will not permit wheelchairs are all instances of discriminatory advertising.
- Security Deposits. There are laws regulating how a Forth Worth property manager should handle your security deposit. In many instances, the law allows a landlord to collect and then hold your deposit and probably spend it to perform repairs if you are negligent and damage something while residing in the residence. There are federal limits imposed on how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit – which is also controlled by state law.
- Illegal Lockouts. While there is no one federal law that makes locking out a tenant unlawful, laws in every state define the legal eviction process that makes locking a tenant out of their rental house as unlawful behavior. Eviction is a legal process that must be conducted properly, or the landlord risks having the court rule in the tenant’s favor.
If you’re searching for a Forth Worth rental home and property manager who understand and will observe all tenant-landlord laws in Texas, Real Property Management 360 is somebody you can depend on. Browse our listings online to locate your next rental home!
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.