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Legal Tips for Renters: Know Your Rights

Legal Tips for Renters

As housing prices skyrocket and property availability is becoming more limited, you may consider renting as a viable option. There are many benefits to renting such as little to no maintenance responsibilities, flexibility to move, and lack of a substantial down payment. Renting a property can be the perfect solution for your housing woes; however, before you take the leap into becoming a tenant, you should pay close attention to the responsibilities you will have to your landlord. Continue reading to discover 4 legal tips specifically for renters.

Read your rental agreement carefully.

As with any legally binding agreement, it is imperative that you read your rental contract thoroughly before you sign it. The property may appear beautiful and well-maintained during your initial tour but what happens when the air conditioner stops working or your apartment starts flooding? Do you know who to contact?

Pay attention to the details. Review your rental agreement meticulously, ensuring that your personal information (i.e., name, phone number, and other contact information) as well as the property’s address are listed correctly. If you identify mistakes within the agreement, speak up. You will want to ensure all errors are fixed prior to signing your lease.

You should also have a comprehensive understanding of the lease terms before you move forward with solidifying the agreement. Make note of the dates in which your rent is due as well as the process for renewing your lease in the future. You will also want to confirm the deadline to notify your landlord if you decide to move in the future. 

Document all communications with your landlord.

It is in your best interest to remain respectful and professional when communicating with your landlord. In most cases, the tenant-landlord relationship is mutually beneficial and should be treated as such. Be willing to be transparent with the property owner about any concerns you may have and be ready to listen to their response without making assumptions. 

No one expects to have rental issues arise but unfortunately, these situations are not uncommon. Keep detailed records of your conversations with your landlord in case you need to reference the communication in the future. This thorough documentation will be to your advantage if legal action becomes necessary. 

Report any property issues immediately.

Typically, property owners do not visit their rental properties frequently. If there is an issue with the house or apartment you are renting, notify your landlord as soon as possible so that they can work to mitigate the situation. Do not wait until an issue becomes an emergency to speak up. Property issues are much more easily handled when they are addressed early on. 

Know your privacy rights.

As a tenant, you are entitled to privacy rights. The Ohio Bar addresses these protections by stating, “[t]he landlord may enter your apartment after reasonable notice (at least 24 hours) for certain legitimate reasons and without notice in certain emergency situations”. If you are noticing that these rights are being infringed upon, you may have reason to pursue legal action. 

We are your trusted source for rental questions.  

Do you still have questions about your legal rights as a tenant? Would you like to have a qualified attorney review your lease agreement before you sign it? Our team of experienced attorneys are ready to help answer any rental questions that you may have. 

Furthermore, if you are a current renter and are experiencing legal issues with your landlord, our seasoned attorneys are prepared to fight for you to make sure that your rights are being protected. 

Contact us today to get started.