As a renter, it’s imperative to understand the most significant 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 help you have a better experience and avoid issues with your landlord from this day on. These are some of the most important laws you should know about as a renter:
- Warranty of Habitability. Although it goes by different names in different states, generally implied warranty of habitability laws is state laws designed to guarantee that your rental unit is livable. In most states, this means the rental home meets certain minimum standards for things like heat, water, and electricity.
- Choosing a Tenant. State and federal laws give landlords the right to choose their tenants. But the laws also mandate that a landlord’s decision must be based on creditworthiness, income, or past history. They can’t turn down rent from someone due to their skin color, religion, sexual orientation, familial status, and disability.
- Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act is a federal law that prevents 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 permitted renters who think they have been 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), regardless 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 because of how many children the tenant has. According to the law, a landlord cannot prohibit children from using outdoor or common areas.
- Service Animals. Under federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals are considered a reasonable accommodation, and landlords cannot just refuse them. They also can’t charge an additional pet fee or increase the rent because you have a service animal. Then again, 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. For example, 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 examples of discriminatory advertising.
- Security Deposits. There are laws regarding how a Middleton property manager must handle your security deposit. In most cases, the law allows a landlord to collect and then hold your deposit and potentially use it to complete repairs if you are negligent and damage something while living in the house. There are federal limits set on how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit – that is also determined by state law.
- Illegal Lockouts. While there is no one federal law that makes locking out a tenant unauthorized, laws in every state have the legal eviction process that makes locking a tenant out of their rental house an unlawful act. Eviction is a legal process that must be conducted correctly, or the landlord risks having the court rule in the tenant’s favor.
If you’re looking for a Middleton rental home and property manager that is familiar with and adheres to all tenant-landlord laws in Idaho, Real Property Management Nampa is the one to call. 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.