Laws and Rules for Renting Houses

If you're about to rent a house or an apartment, there are some things you need to know.

Here is a short list of those things.

There's a law against that. - Every state has a “Landlord-Tenant Act” that spells out what rights and responsibilities everyone has when renting a house or apartment. You can find copies for your state online or you can check with your local courthouse or city hall.

There's no law about that. - There is no law that says that your landlord needs to give you a lease. You can ask for one. You don't have to move in unless you get a lease.

If you don't have a lease, there are still rules. - The landlord-tenant act of your state will explain, in detail, what the rules are if you don't have a lease, or if your lease has run out, the law covers everything you need to know to keep living there. In most states, you will automatically go to a month-to-month rental. Every thirty days it will start again. And you only need to give 30 days notice to move out.

Lots of people don't do anything with the lease they're given – Over 25% of people don't read or don't understand the lease that they have been given.

And 10% of them never get a lease at all. - A tenth of renters don't have any rental documents at all.

Here's what you should do to survive as a renter:

Get it in writing/ Put it in writing – Write down anything negative that happens between you and your landlord. Email is perfect for this purpose. This way if there is a legal dispute later, you can prove what has happened.

Do break the rules – If you don't like the rules of your lease, get out of it. Breaking the rules can cost you a lot of more than its worth. In some cases, it can cost you thousands of dollars where you might have made a few hundred. Over ¾ of all renters in vacation areas sublet their apartments without letting their landlord know.

Buying is better? - Most people think that buying a house in their area is better than renting. That may or may not be true, but that's what most people think.

Staying out of trouble as renter is usually not a problem, but if you do have an issue, these simple rules can make all the difference.
Posted on Mar 18, 2013


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