Man looking at rental agreement with real estate agent

Tenant Rights

When you’re looking to rent an apartment, it’s important that you’re aware of the rights you have as a tenant.

In the event that you ever have a dispute with your landlord that gets out of hand and lands you in jail, you’ll also want to know about the bail bonds process. When taken to jail for a crime, the judge will set a certain amount for bail. A bail bonding agency will make this financial arrangement on behalf of the defendant. The defendant will then be able to be released from jail pending the trial. This is done via a 10 percent payment of the bail. This money will be provided to the bail bondsman, who will then provide it to the jail facility. Thankfully, you should never get yourself into such a situation as long as you’re aware of your rights as a tenant.

The Application

When first applying to an apartment, the federal anti-discrimination law means that your application can’t be refused due to your race, religion, familial status, age, sex, physical or mental disability, national origin, or color. In the event that you feel as though you’re discriminated for any of the aforementioned reasons, it’s recommended that you seek the help of a lawyer. State and local law may go even further depending on where you live to make sure that you aren’t discriminated against for any reason. This could include anything from sexual orientation to marital status.

There are some additional anti-discriminatory laws that may come into play when you’re renting an apartment. For instance, any advertising by the landlord cannot make any kind of statement that rules out renting an apartment for any of the discriminatory reasons listed above. The landlord is also not able to make a statement that’s discriminatory to any of the previous groups. A landlord will not be able to use a different set of rules for applicants who belong to one of the protected classes of people.

They also cannot state that an apartment is unavailable when it is actually available. Rent cannot be refused to someone in the protected classes. Both deposits and late rental payments must be treated the same among all tenants. Tenancy cannot be ended for a reason that would fall under discrimination. Lastly, you cannot be harassed by a landlord.

In the event that your apartment has a no-pet policy, but you require the usage of a seeing-eye dog, rental cannot be refused based on this requirement. If ever your application is rejected due to some form of negative information received by the landlord about you, federal law states that you have the right to know what this negative information was. You also have the right to live in a room or apartment that’s actually habitable. This basically means that the apartment unit can’t be too damaged that it prevents you from living healthily. An example of an apartment unit that’s not habitable is one that has an infestation of vermin or one that’s filled with unsafe conditions.


You also have a right to privacy when living in an apartment, which basically means that the landlord can’t just decide to enter the apartment unit unless it’s necessary due to an emergency. Advance notice must be provided to you if the landlord needs to enter your apartment for any other reason than an emergency. In regards to security deposits, the required deposit cannot exceed the limit set by the state. However, it’s important to understand that some states don’t have such laws. In most states, the deposit you pay must be returned to you at the conclusion of your stay at the apartment, with interest paid. Certain conditions could lead to a reduction of the amount of the deposit that’s returned to you, including unpaid rent, repairs to any damages caused by you, and substantial cleaning to return the unit to a livable state.

Make sure to take photos of your apartment when moving in. These may come in handy if ever you need to make a legal dispute against the landlord. As a tenant, you have a lot of rights. If ever you feel as though you’ve been treated unfairly, seek the assistance of a lawyer immediately.

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