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Your tenant rights are valuable, however, you may be shocked to find out that some of them are being violated right now.

While your tenant rights are spelled out in local and state laws, there are some situations where federal regulations take over. For the most part, tenants rights fall under state and local government. That means that if you are looking for more definition and explanation of your tenant rights, a phone call to a qualified professional in the real estate industry can help.

Here are some of the tenant rights that you should be aware of

1. Protection from Discrimination

Under federal law, your tenant rights are protected against a violation in housing. The Fair Housing Act directs that a landlord cannot refuse anyone housing based on their race, nationality, sex, familial status, religion, or disability. Additionally, the Department of Housing Assistance Program protects consumers from being discriminated against.  

2. You MUST Pay Rent

If you have a landlord, they are entitled to the rent you agreed to pay them. Thus, landlords also have the power with tenants rights to initiate the eviction process if you do not pay the rent.

Regardless of the reason for non-payment, you cannot refuse to pay the rent. If you are unable to pay the rent due to an uncontrollable circumstance, check with your landlord. In some areas, state and local laws allow landlords to pro-rate or lower the cost or rent to make it easier to pay off your late rent.  

You MUST Pay Rent

3. The Lease and the Law

Your lease is a binding contract. However, there are many instances in which the law supersedes the lease. For example, if you are the victim of a violent crime at your residence and are still in danger, under state or local laws, your lease may be broken without penalty due to victim rights.

In other cases, state law dictates that all tenants rights include the ability to sublease their rental to another person. That law applies even to tenants services where the lease indicates otherwise. If you sign a lease that includes anything that violates tenants rights, the policies will not be enforced by the law.

NOTE: No matter who you are, there is never a time that you plan to get into a situation to fight your landlord. However, there may be circumstances that occur beyond your control, leaving you open to that possibility.

For that reason, be prepared by documenting everything. It does not matter the system you use, or how you keep track of the local or state laws, but if you want to enforce them (at any point) you will need documentation to back up every claim you make.

When you go through the move-in process, keep track of all the paperwork, including photographs of necessary evidence. Then, when you are ready to move out, regardless of if you need to break the lease or fight for your tenant rights in any way, the process will be as simple as possible.

Talking About Your Tenants Legal Rights

As a tenant, you have legal rights including those listed above. You may not realize just how many other rights you have as a tenant representative or even as a renter. Talking to a professional in real estate with experience in their rights can help you understand what your legal rights are. Talk to a professional at the offices of LCI Realty to rest your mind about tenants rights.

Remember that your tenant rights are clearly spelled out in your state and local laws, but if there is a situation where you feel you have been treated unfairly, check with a professional. A team member at LCI Realty can explain which of your tenant rights (if any) have been violated and how to get what you deserve.