Your Rights As A Tenant
As long as you fulfill your legal duties and the requirements of your rental agreement, you have the right to exclusive possession of property you rent or least for the term of the rental agreement. However, even as you exercise your basic right to privacy, your landlord may retain in the lease a right to inspect your dwelling at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner. If your landlord does not live up to his duties as set by law and the terms of the rental agreement, you have the right to:
- complain to him,
- complain to appropriate government agencies, such as your local building and health departments,
- exercise your rights under law or the rental agreement which you have signed,
- join with other tenants to secure your rights.
These rights may be exercised without fear of eviction. In addition, if after reasonable notice, your landlord fails to carry out his legal duties, you have the right to move out of the dwelling you are renting, thereby ending your rental agreement. Moreover, you have the right to seek relief in court if the landlord fails to fulfill his duties. If you seek relief in court and the court decides in your favor, it may reduce the amount of rent you must pay until the landlord fulfills his duties, and/or award you money damages. Tenants may not withhold rent payments in order to force the landlord to fulfill his duties without the permission of the court.
If your rental agreement was prepared by your landlord, the law provides that in the event of a dispute between you and the landlord, any unclear terms or conditions should be interpreted in your favor.