Russ Thompson
Managing Partner
Thompson Consumer Law Group

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Tenant Rights and Eviction Help

Tenant Rights and Eviction Help

Another important type of state law enacted to protect consumer rights is landlord/tenant law, in place to ensure landlords treat tenants fairly. Under landlord/tenant law, landlords are responsible for ensuring that all rental property meets state standards for safety and quality. Tenants have a right to insist certain features of the rental property are kept in a safe and sanitary condition. Landlords cannot make you agree to accept substandard and dangerous conditions, no matter what your lease agreement says. They must fix certain kinds of problems so your home is “habitable.”

Habitable means more than your landlord may be willing to admit. Tenants are not required to just put up with problems because of clever language in the lease agreement, or because the repairs are expensive. Document and maintain all paper work related to your rental right from the initial walk through. When you do the initial walk through, make sure you take pictures and note anything that might be considered less than perfect or what is represented as such in the lease. Once you have documented the condition of the apartment in writing and with photos, review with your landlord and have him/her confirm the condition before actually signing the lease itself. Maintain accurate records of all requests you’ve made to repair anything that needs fixing during the term of your lease. When the time comes to move out, you will want to take photos of the move out condition and compare to those you took before move in. The goal is to have the before and after look as close to the same as possible in an effort to get every dime of your security returned after you move out. Importantly, it is common for landlords to later claim you damaged items in the unit or failed to properly clean before moving out. For this reason, it is important to document everything and take photos showing the condition of the rental before moving out.

Landlord/tenant laws also require landlords to refrain from entering the property unannounced, raising rent without fair warning, raising the rent by more than the amount permitted by law, or discriminating against tenants for any illegal reason. Finally, landlord/tenant laws require landlords to provide ample notice to tenants who must move out at the end of their term, and landlords are prohibited from evicting tenants for reasons not described in the rental agreement or otherwise allowed by law.

Consumer protection laws also governs certain interactions between landlords and tenants. Specific landlord/tenant laws vary by state. However, most laws stipulate the landlord must ensure that the property meets minimum quality standards. Landlords must give a minimum amount of notice when tenants are required to move out, and they must provide tenants with ample warning when rent will be increased. Most states also prohibit landlords from evicting tenants for violations not listed in the rental agreement. If a landlord fails to provide a safe environment for renters, raises rent without warning or wrongfully evicts a tenant, the tenant’s rights may have been violated.

Anytime you think your tenant rights may have been violated:

If you think your rights have been violated, we can evaluate your landlord/tenant rights. You may be entitled to recover money lost because of a violation, statutory penalties for violations, compensation for damages resulting from an uninhabitable rental, or even require the landlord to pay you to move out. To do so, please also send us any of the below information you have (don’t worry about what you don’t have, just send what you do):

  • A complete copy of your lease or rental agreement;
  • Copies of any other documents you signed or received when signing the lease;
  • Copies of any amendments or updates to the lease;
  • Copies of all notices you’re received from the landlord;
  • Photographs of any issues with your rentals;
  • Any other communications between you and your landlord (including letters, emails, voicemails, texts, etc.); and,
  • Any other documents you feel may be relevant to, or support your case.

Russell S. Thompson IV
Managing Partner
Thompson Consumer Law Group

Get Your No Obligation Case Evaluation

Send a secure message to our legal team

* Disclaimer: We are committed to protecting your privacy and ensuring the confidentiality of your information. However, submitting this form does not establish an attorney/client relationship with our firm– that will be established only upon mutual agreement and execution of an attorney client contract. By providing your wireless telephone number you agree and acknowledge that we may send text messages to your wireless telephone number for any purpose, including following up on your inquiry and request for review, or for what you may consider to be marketing purposes.

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