As a renter, it’s vital to recognize the main state and federal laws that affect your rights and responsibilities. You can be a better and more informed tenant by knowing these laws. This can aid you to have a good experience and avoid issues with your landlord one day. Here are a few of the most important laws you should know about as a renter:
- Warranty of Habitability. Even if it goes by different names in different states, typically implied warranty of habitability laws are state laws meant to make sure that your rental unit is livable. In most states, this indicates the rental home meets certain minimum standards for things such as heat, water, and electricity.
- Choosing a Tenant. State and federal laws impart landlords the right to choose their tenants. Although the laws further imply that a landlord’s decision must be based on creditworthiness, income, or history. They cannot turn down the request to rent to someone because of things such as skin color, religion, sexual orientation, familial status, and disability.
- Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act is a federal law that hinders landlords from discriminating against tenants based on protected characteristics such as race, religion, gender, national origin, and disability. This law was enacted in 1968 and permits renters who feel discriminated against because of one or more of these characteristics to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), irrespective of which state they live in.
- Limiting the Number of Children. Under the Fair Housing Act, a landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant just because of how many children the tenant has. The law furthermore denotes that a landlord cannot bar children from using outdoor or common areas.
- Service Animals. Under federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals meet the requirements as a reasonable accommodation, and landlords cannot simply disallow them. Nor can they charge an additional pet fee or add more to the rent since you have a service animal. But certainly, landlords can require that a service animal is vaccinated, licensed, and registered according to all state and local laws.
- Discriminatory Advertising. HUD’s federal Fair Housing Act also states that landlords cannot use discrimination in their advertisement of a rental property. To cite an instance, publishing an ad stating that the landlord will not rent to single adults, people of a certain age, or won’t allow wheelchairs are all instances of discriminatory advertising.
- Security Deposits. There are laws concerning how a Homestead property manager must handle your security deposit. In many cases, the law allows a landlord to collect and then hold your deposit and maybe utilize it to conduct repairs if you are negligent and damage something while living in the house. There are federal limits put on how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit – that is likewise clarified by state law.
- Illegal Lockouts. Even though there is no one federal law that makes locking out a tenant unauthorized, laws in every state set out and outline the legal eviction process that makes locking a tenant out of their rental house an unlawful act. Eviction is a legal process that should be observed properly, or the landlord risks having the court rule in the tenant’s favor.
If you’re going in search of a Homestead rental home and property manager who perceives and will comply to all tenant-landlord laws in Florida, Real Property Management Sunshine is who you can trust. 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.