What are Your Tenant Legal Rights?

The first thing to do when renting a property is to know your tenant legal rights. Learn the rights of tenants in the United States here.

As mentioned in our previous page, this guide is based on the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and covers your rights as a tenant for these U.S. states:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington

RELATED: Your Tenant Legal Rights for Security Deposit and Property Maintenance

Tenant Legal Rights for Property Access

Unless it is an emergency or the renter has abandoned the property, the landlord must notify the tenant at least 48 hours in advance if he or she intends to enter the premises.

The landlord can only enter the property for the following reasons:

  • carry out home inspections
  • to maintain the property or make repairs
  • show the property to prospective buyers, tenants, contractors and repairmen

The landlord also has to enter during reasonable hours. The tenant bill of rights doesn't specify the exact hours, but the landlord should enter the property during working hours whenever possible.

If the landlord enters the property unlawfully and harasses the tenant, the tenant can obtain a court order to prevent another unlawful entry or terminate the lease. The tenant can also claim for damages of at least 1 month's rent plus attorney fees.

Tenant Legal Rights for Lease Termination

It is within your rights as a tenant to terminate a lease before its stated end date for the following reasons:

Failure of Landlord to Maintain Property - You inform the landlord in writing of damages (that are health or safety hazards) and the landlord fails to make repairs within 14 days. You're allowed to end the lease 30 days after the landlord has been informed in writing).

Unlawful Entry of Property by Landlord - The landlord enters the property for invalid reasons or without giving you advance notice.

Termination by 30 Day Notice - The tenant is allowed to terminate a month to month lease by sending the landlord a written 30 day notice to landlord in advance.

Disclaimer: While we make every effort to make sure that this guide is updated, always consult the law text on your state government website before making any legal decisions. If you have any questions, Click here to ask a professional real estate lawyer.

Landlord Tenant Rights