The term “landlord” is based on the feudal system of medieval Europe. Basically, the landowner or lord held all the power, while the lowly tenants had few (if any) legal rights.
Fortunately, society has come a long way in the past 1,000 years. While landlords still have certain rights regarding their property, tenants also have the right to demand certain actions.
Are you wondering whether you can or should sue your landlord? Here are some common (and totally legal) reasons to sue your landlord and exercise your rights as a tenant.
1. The Unit Is Uninhabitable:
As a renter, one of your basic rights is known as the “implied warranty of habitability.” This ensures that you have access to basic necessities such as heating and hot water. It also implies that your rental unit is free from harmful substances such as mold or lead paint.
When you notify your landlord of an issue in your unit, it’s their responsibility to fix the problem. If they don’t, you can sue your landlord in small claims court.
2. You’re the Victim of Discrimination:
The federal government has very strict laws about housing discrimination. It is illegal for a landlord to make any decisions based on your:
- Family status
- National origin
You cannot be denied the opportunity to rent based on any of these factors, nor can your landlord evict you or refuse to maintain the property because of these.
3. Failure to Return Your Security Deposit:
Provided you were a good tenant who paid your rent and utility bills and took care of the property, your landlord must return your security deposit when you vacate.
However, some landlords try to keep the security deposit illegally or only return a small portion of it. If you’re in this situation, Sweet Lawyers can help — check them out and learn more about your rights.
4. Your Landlord Enters Without Permission:
Another basic right that renters have is the right to quiet enjoyment. This means that your landlord cannot legally enter the property unless they’ve given you advance notice.
There are some exceptions, such as a fire or another emergency situation. In general, though, you can sue your landlord if they unexpectedly show up and enter the property — regardless of whether you’re home.
5. You’re Injured Because of Negligence:
Have you been bugging your landlord to fix that broken step? Did you send them a photo of the mold under the sink weeks ago but they still haven’t taken action?
If you were to fall down the stairs or develop a respiratory illness, you could sue your landlord for negligence. Legally, they have the right to maintain the property and make it as safe as possible for the tenants.
Should You Sue Your Landlord?
After reading this article, what do you think? Do you have legitimate reasons to sue your landlord?
If so, talk to a lawyer in your area about your rights and options.
Now that you know some different things you can sue your landlord for, what’s next? Stay right here and keep browsing our blog for helpful articles like this one!