Just because you rent a property doesn’t mean that you don’t have any rights. Landlords would like you to think that because they own a property, they can do whatever they please. In many cases, they want you to believe that they don’t have to do what needs to be done to make the home a safe place to live. That is far from the truth. Renters do have rights and the rights are what can keep you from going through more than is necessary. Renters rights vary from state to state so you need to check your state’s laws to find out the specifics. There are some basic rights that are very common among the states.
It is very important to make yourself aware of your rights as a renter when you decide to rent a property to live in. You need to know what the laws are so that you can protect yourself in any situation. For instance, in Maryland, landlords are not allowed to enter the home of the renters, even though it is their property, without specific permission. If the landlord enters the home when you aren’t there, they are violating the state laws governing landlord/tenant rules. Landlords must also keep the property in good condition so that the property isn’t a danger to the tenants. For example, landlords are required to take care of any electrical problems that could start a fire in the home.
Renters have far more rights than they could possibly realize in the United States. That doesn’t mean that you can push it too far. If you truly have a complaint or the landlord is truly doing something that he/she isn’t supposed to be doing, you do have avenues to go through. You can’t just stop paying rent if the landlord refuses to fix something. You have to go to court and you have to put the money into an escrow account rather than just not pay the rent. If you don’t pay the rent, you will then leave yourself open for eviction. This can all be done through the courts.
One thing that you must be certain that you do is to make sure that you send the landlord a certified letter with information on what needs to be fixed. This will assure that you can prove that you gave the landlord proper notice of the problem and that they still didn’t get it fixed. Always cover yourself when it comes to exercising your rights as a tenant.
Unfortunately, there are far too many landlords that will try to make the tenant believe things that aren’t true. If you are a renter and a landlord has used scare tactics to get you to do what they want you to do, that is illegal in most states as well. Most landlords are decent and they only want to rent the property to good people. They won’t make trouble and they will take care of their property. If they don’t, they will leave themselves open to a lawsuit. Each landlord and each tenant is responsible to make sure that the relationship between the two of you will work well. Do your part as a good tenant and if you are lucky, you will get one of the landlords who is a decent landlord who will take care of the property.