Tenants Rights

When applying to rent for an apartment, there are a number of things that can cause rejection. A poor credit history or criminal record, for example, and acceptable reasons for a landlord to refuse a rental. If your application is rejected even if you know you meet the requirements, you have a right to know why. Denying an application for discriminatory reasons is illegal.

Federal law prohibits discrimination on the base of race, religion, sex, age, familial status (such as not allowing children or pregnant women), and physical or mental disability. There are also many types of discriminatory conduct that are prohibited by federal law. Advertising is prohibited from stating a preference or limitation based on the characteristics above, nor can the landlord make any similar statement of preference. Landlords cannot lie about the availability of the apartment or use different rules for people in a protected class. A landlord is also not allowed to refuse to rent or require a larger deposit based on discriminatory reasons.

If a landlord rejects you based on negative information received from previous landlords, your employer, or another source, you have a right to know why, and what the information was. Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, a landlord is required to tell you if the negative information was from a source other than your credit report.

Every tenant also has a right to a habitable premise. The house or apartment must be fit to be lived in – as in no holes in the floor and ceiling, no mice or other vermin infestations, and proper wiring. You also have a right to privacy in your rented space, meaning the landlord cannot barge in unannounced. There must be proper notice, and unless there is an emergency, the landlord cannot enter without permission.

Deposit requirements vary from state to state, but a landlord must use equality for all tenants on deposit requirements. You have a right to know why your deposit is larger than other tenants’, especially if you suspect it is a discriminatory action. The landlord must return the deposit to you at the end of the lease, within a time limit (usually determined by the state). If you do not receive your entire deposit, your landlord is required to send a list of what the money was spent on. Such things as cleaning and repairs to damages caused by the tenants (beyond wear and tear) and unpaid rent are acceptable. If there is no explanation of the costs, you have every right to know why.

Gold River Real Estate Law Attorney

Before you make your first move, you  must know your legal rights. Knowing your rights as a tenant is important for landlord-tenant issues. Our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys can help you resolve these problems and other real estate issues. The Sacramento Real Estate Lawyers at Bowman & Associates help clients across Northern California.