Your Basic Rights as a Tenant

Understanding your rights as tenants is determined by what is in your tenancy agreement. The terms and conditions in your tenanacy agreement can help protect you in a range of situations. Here are some basic issues you may encounter:

Your tenant rights

Tenant’s rights actually begin when you first start looking for a place, and they extend until your security deposit is returned after moving out. So be sure to review your rental lease agreement periodically to ensure you understand the rights and responsibilities specific to the terms of your contract.

Regardless of whether you are renting an apartment or a house, you have the right to a safe, clean place. Every window, door, lock and appliance should be in working order. The building itself should be maintained, and the landlord is responsible for making any necessary fixes within a reasonable amount of time. If you have questions or concerns, you may want to seek advice from Ping Property Manager.

What to do when repairs are not made

Depending on your tenancy agreement, you do not have the right to withhold rent payment, break your lease or even sue your landlord even if repairs that affect your health and safety aren’t made. Speak to your Ping Property Manager to assist in your matter.

Breaking a lease

It’s technically legal to break your lease at any time. However, it is likely that you will have to pay a financial penalty, which will be stipulated in your Tenancy Agreement. (At least one month’s rent is typically the minimum fee, with additional costs possible, including responsibility for remainder of the rent on your term). Also remember that knowing how to break a lease does not mean that you should do it; your next landlord will likely want a reference from your current one.

If you are wondering how to deal with bad roommates, be aware that getting rid of them legally is challenging if they are listed on the lease.

Providing written notice

Always provide written notice of your decision to break a lease and send it in a method that shows proof the landlord received it, such as by certified mail. Also be sure to make copies of the letter for your records.

You can keep the letter brief, but it must include:

  • Reason(s) for breaking the lease
  • When the decision is effective
  • Current and future contact information

Handling eviction notices

Eviction is never pleasant, but you still have rights even if your landlord has given you notice to vacate. The terms of your lease will determine what grounds the landlord has for eviction. Typically, he or she must notify you and provide an opportunity to fix the problem. The notice must be delivered to you by hand or mail and include all affected tenants’ names, the effective date of eviction and the reason for termination.

A landlord cannot evict you due to discriminatory reasons or for their convenience or benefit. Speak to a Ping Property Manager to have a better understanding.