It’s critical to be aware of the most essential state and federal laws that govern your rights and duties as a renter. By familiarizing yourself with these laws, you can become a more knowledgeable and responsible tenant. This can improve your experience and help you avoid future conflicts with your landlord. The following are some of the most critical laws you should be aware of as a renter:
- Warranty of Habitability. While implied warranty of habitability laws vary by state, they are all state laws aimed to ensure that your rental unit is habitable. This implies that the rental home must fulfill certain minimal criteria for things like heat, water, and electricity in the majority of states.
- Choosing a Tenant. Landlords have the right under state and federal law to select their tenants. However, the legislation requires that a landlord’s decision be based on creditworthiness, income, or previous history. They are not permitted to refuse to rent to someone on the basis of their skin color, religion, sexual orientation, familial status, or disability.
- Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act bans landlords from discriminating against tenants on the basis of protected characteristics such as race, religion, gender, national origin, or handicap. This statute, which was passed in 1968, permits tenants who believe they have been discriminated against because of one or more of these traits to file a complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), regardless of where they live.
- Limiting the Number of Children. A landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant because of the number of children the tenant has, according to the Fair Housing Act. Additionally, the rule specifies that a landlord cannot deny children access to outdoor or common places.
- Service Animals. Service animals qualify as a reasonable accommodation under federal law, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, therefore landlords may not simply prohibit them. They are also prohibited from charging an additional pet fee or increasing the rent just because you have a service animal. Landlords, on the other hand, may insist that a service animal is vaccinated, licensed, and registered in accordance with all applicable state and municipal regulations.
- Discriminatory Advertising. The federal Fair Housing Act, administered by HUD, also prohibits landlords from discriminating in their rental property advertisements. Discriminatory advertising includes, for example, placing an ad declaring that the landlord will not rent to single adults, persons of a specific age, or those who use wheelchairs.
- Security Deposits. The way a Matthews property manager handles your security deposit is governed by law. In most situations, the law allows a landlord to collect and store your security deposit, which they can subsequently use to pay repairs if you are careless and damage something while living there. The amount a landlord can demand for a security deposit is regulated by federal law as well as state law.
- Illegal Lockouts. While there is no federal law that makes locking out a tenant illegal, each state’s laws explain the correct eviction process and make locking out a tenant an illegal conduct. Eviction is a legal procedure that must be followed precisely or the landlord risks having the court find in favor of the tenant.
If you’re looking for a Matthews rental home and property manager who knows and will follow all tenant-landlord laws in North Carolina, Real Property Management Charlotte Metro is who you can rely on. Browse our listings online to find 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.