As a renter, it’s critical to understand the most significant state and federal laws governing your rights and duties. Knowing these laws will allow you to be a better and more educated tenant. This can improve your experience and help you avoid future problems with your landlord. As a renter, the following are some of the most critical laws to be aware of:
- Warranty of Habitability. Generally implied warranty of habitability laws, which go by different names in different jurisdictions, are state laws that ensure that your rental unit is habitable. This means that the rental home fulfills certain minimal criteria for things like heat, water, and electricity in most states.
- Choosing a Tenant. Landlords have the freedom to choose their tenants under state and federal laws. However, the laws require that a landlord’s decision be based on a tenant’s creditworthiness, income, or previous history. They are not allowed to reject rent to someone because of their skin color, religion, sexual orientation, family status, or disability.
- Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act is a federal legislation that bans landlords from discriminating against tenants on the basis of protected characteristics like race, religion, gender, national origin, or handicap. This 1968 statute allows tenants who believe they are being discriminated against on the basis of one or more of these traits to submit a complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), regardless of which state they reside in.
- Limiting the Number of Children. A landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant based on the number of children the tenant has, according to the Fair Housing Act. A landlord is also prohibited from prohibiting children from using outside or shared places, according to the statute.
- Service Animals. Service animals qualify as a reasonable accommodation under federal statutes such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, therefore landlords cannot simply prohibit them. Additionally, they cannot charge an additional pet fee or increase the rent due to the presence of a service animal. Landlords, on the other hand, may require that service animals be vaccinated, licensed, and registered in accordance with all applicable state and local regulations.
- Discriminatory Advertising. The federal Fair Housing Act, administered by HUD, also prohibits landlords from discriminating in the advertising of rental properties. For instance, printing an advertisement saying that the landlord will not rent to single adults, persons of a particular age or those who use wheelchairs are all examples of discriminatory advertising.
- Security Deposits. There are rules that govern how your security deposit is handled by an Atwater property manager. In most situations, the law permits a landlord to collect and then retain your deposit, which may be used to perform repairs if you are careless and cause damage while living in the residence. The amount a landlord can demand a security deposit is governed by federal law, as well as state law.
- Illegal Lockouts. While there is no federal legislation that renders locking out a tenant illegal, state laws explain the legal eviction process and make locking out a tenant from their rental house an illegal conduct. Eviction is a legal procedure that must be followed precisely or the landlord risks having the tenant’s case dismissed by the court.
If you’re looking for an Atwater rental home and property manager who knows and will follow all tenant-landlord laws in California, Real Property Management Valley Wide 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.