It’s critical for renters to understand the most significant state and federal laws that affect their rights and duties. By being familiar with these laws, you can become a more knowledgeable and responsible tenant. This will help you have a better experience and avoid future problems with your landlord. As a tenant, you should be aware of the following laws:
- Warranty of Habitability. Generally implied warranty of habitability laws, which go by different names in different jurisdictions, are state laws aimed to ensure that your rental unit is habitable. In most jurisdictions, this implies the rental home complies with certain minimum requirements for things like heat, water, and electricity.
- Choosing a Tenant. Landlords have the authority to select their tenants under state and federal laws. However, the laws require that a landlord’s decision be based on creditworthiness, income, or previous history. They can’t refuse to rent to someone because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, family situation, or disability.
- Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act bans landlords from discriminating against tenants based on protected characteristics like race, religion, gender, national origin, or handicap. This 1968 law allows tenants who believe they have been discriminated against because of one or more of these characteristics to file a complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), regardless of where they live.
- Limiting the Number of Children. A landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant solely on the basis of the number of children the tenant has, as defined under the Fair Housing Act. A landlord cannot prevent minors from using outdoor or shared places, according to the legislation.
- Service Animals. Service animals are considered a reasonable accommodation under federal rules such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, and landlords are not allowed to prohibit them. They also can’t charge you a higher rent or charge you an extra pet fee because you have a service animal. Landlords, on the other hand, can demand that a service animal be vaccinated, licensed, and registered in accordance with all applicable state and municipal laws.
- Discriminatory Advertising. The federal Fair Housing Act, administered by HUD, also prohibits landlords from discriminating in their advertising of rental properties. Discriminatory advertising includes, for example, placing an advertisement declaring that the landlord will not rent to single adults, persons of a certain age, or people who use wheelchairs.
- Security Deposits. There are restrictions governing how a property manager in Kennewick must handle your security deposit. In most situations, the law allows a landlord to collect and store your deposit, with the possibility of using it to perform repairs if you are careless and cause damage while living there. There are federal limits on how much a landlord can demand a security deposit, but state law also governs this.
- Illegal Lockouts. While there is no federal law that renders locking out a tenant illegal, each state’s laws detail the legal eviction process, making locking out a tenant an illegal conduct. Eviction is a legal process that must be carried out appropriately or the landlord risks having the court rule in favor of the tenant.
If you’re looking for a Kennewick rental home and property manager who knows and will follow all tenant-landlord laws in Washington, Real Property Management Tri-Cities 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.