As a renter, you should be aware of the major state and federal laws that affect your rights and responsibilities. You can be a better and more informed tenant by knowing these laws. This might help you have a better experience and avoid issues with your landlord too. Here 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, normally implied warranty of habitability laws is state laws designed to guarantee that your rental unit is livable. In many states, this signifies that the rental home meets certain minimum standards for things such as heat, water, and electricity.
- Choosing a Tenant. State and federal laws give landlords the right to choose their tenants. However, the laws also require that a landlord’s decision must be based on creditworthiness, income, or past history. They are not allowed to reject rent to someone because of their skin color, religion, sexual orientation, familial status, and disability.
- Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act is a federal law that forbids 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 authorized renters who feel 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 what state they live in.
- Limiting the Number of Children. Under the Fair Housing Act, a landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant based on how many children the tenant has. In addition, the law specifies that a landlord cannot prohibit children from using outdoor or common areas.
- Service Animals. Under federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals classify as a reasonable accommodation, and landlords cannot simply prohibit them. They also cannot charge an additional pet fee or raise the rent because you have a service animal. On the other hand, 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 are prohibited from utilizing discrimination in their advertisement of a rental property. As an illustration, 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 types of discriminatory advertising.
- Security Deposits. There are laws in place that govern how a Hillsboro property manager must handle your security deposit. Generally, the law allows a landlord to collect and then hold your deposit and possibly spend it to perform 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 unethical, laws in every state detail the legal eviction process that makes locking a tenant out of their rental house an illegal act. Eviction is a legal process that must be carried out appropriately, or the landlord risks having the court rule in the tenant’s favor.
If you’re interested in a Hillsboro rental home and property manager who knows and will follow all tenant-landlord laws in Oregon, Real Property Management Assurance is who you can rely on. 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.