Anytime you are making a serious business deal, or disputing a legality it’s imperative to know your rights as well as the rights of the opposing party. It’s pretty stupid not to in 2015. Think about it. We have an infinite amount of resources sitting at our fingertips on a 24/7 basis and yet we spend our time watching E! news hearing about Kim Kardashian breaking the internet by sneezing. Imagine if we ignored the latter and prepared ourselves the same way officers have to Mirandize those arrested. Here’s a crash course on what you need to know!

 

Can My Landlord Walk In at Any Moment?

No. Even though landlords are owners of the property you live on you have what’s called the right to residential privacy, and therefore must receive a 24-hour notice before your landlord can walk into your apartment.

 

Can My Landlord Stop Me From Having Guests?

Nope. According to the Landlord Tenant Act of 1951,  you have the right to have visitors over for a decent amount of time without any issue or penalty. There isn’t explicit language dictating the number of guests you can have or for how long, as long as you there aren’t any safety laws broken or disturbance complaints.

 

Can My Landlord Keep My Security Deposit Even Though I Paid On Time?

You guessed right again! The answer is absolutely not. It’s 100% illegal for your landlord to keep your security deposit once your lease ends, rent is up to date, and your place is damage free. It’s also super illegal for an owner to charge you more than the first and last month with the deposit.

Any other “fees” required by the landlord should be looked through with a lawyer or expert before giving up any extra cash. A lot of people get taken advantage of by not realizing this one, so keep your antennas up! It is super legal though to notify the Department of Licenses and Inspection.

 

Can My Landlord Refuse To Fix My…?

Nope. Nah. Enh Enh. Negative. Your landlord must keep your apartment in safe and healthy living conditions. In case your landlord expects you to live an Amish lifestyle without your permission, understand that safe and healthy include: infestation control, hot running water, electricity, windows/ventilation, lighting, two working outlets in each room, working doors, and anything else listed that could be deemed hazardous.

 

Can My Landlord Restrict My Utilities?

According to the Utility Service Tenants Rights Acts, your landlord must provide water, heat, gas, and electric charges and all times during the lease. Even if that landlord “forgets” to pay the utility company on time he/she is still forced to inform you and the option to pay the last 30 days and deduct that from your rent. Always keep a record of how much you deposit towards utilities.

 

Can My Landlord Ignore My  Disability?

If you suffer from any sort of mental or physical disability including but not reduced to blindness, cardiovascular disease, mental illness, mobility issues, and so on, your landlord is required according to the Fair Housing Act to make them needed adjustments.

 

 Can A Landlord Refuse Me Because I’m….?

Although this one can be a little tricky to prove it’s definitely illegal for an owner to refuse you housing based on your race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and all other facets of identity. If you notice something is wrong, keep a record of interactions with dates, documentation of the exchange, and witnesses is possible.

 

Can My Landlord Evict Me Without Just Cause?

A landlord may not show up your apartment unannounced, or unjustified to kick you out. If he/she does and tries to kick you out, remind them that legally they don’t have the right to evict you without a court officer and a court hearing according to the Landlord Tenant Act of 1951. If things escalate from there, don’t hesitate to call the police.

 

Who Can I go to If My Rights Have Been Violated?

If any of these concerns grow out of hand definitely reach out to resources like the Department of Licenses and Inspections or the Tenant Union Representative Network (TURN) for expert advice, and workshops

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