Knowing Your Rights as a Renter

Renters often are unaware that they have certain legal rights under both federal and state laws. The state of New Jersey has published a 110-page free handbook tenants can download that has specific information of the rights tenants have with directions of how to enforce them.

In addition to knowing your enforceable rights as a tenant, you should be certain you have renter’s insurance. No matter what your rights are, your landlord’s insurance will not cover the loss of your personal possessions, whether due to a fire, flood, robbery, or other problem. One place you can find this protection is at David G. Sayles Insurance Services. Compound your renter’s insurance policy with a strong knowledge of these enforceable renters’ rights.

The right to habitability.

Every rental comes with a “warranty of habitability.” This means you have the right to live in a place with the following qualities:

  • Free from pests, including insects and rodents.
  • Appliances that are provided are kept in working condition.
  • Roofs, windows and walls are kept in good repair.
  • The unit contains smoke alarms that work when you move in, although the landlord may require you to be responsible for replacing the batteries.

The right to be warned about lead paint.

For housing that was built prior to 1978, your landlord must warn you that there may be a problem with lead paint. Although the law now bars the use of lead paint in the inside or outside of housing units, there are still incidents of lead paint poisoning, particularly for small children who seem to like to lick the paint or peel off paint chips and eat them. This can be deadly.

If you suspect your home has lead paint, and have not been warned about that, you have the right to have an inspection of the home by the health department. If lead paint is discovered, your landlord must have it removed, and provide you alternate housing during the process.

The right to a safe environment.

As a renter, you have a right to live in an environment safe from dangers. This means that if you live in a complex, you have a right to have adequate lighting for walkways, hallways, and parking areas. This protects you from slip and fall accidents and also from those who may be hiding in the dark waiting to harm you.

You are also entitled to protection from debris piling up on walkways and parking lots, including from snow. Trash service must be provided.

The right to be free from discrimination.

The federal Fair Housing Act gives you the right to be free from discrimination based on your race, gender, religion, national origin, familial status, color, or age.

About David G. Sayles Insurance Services

At David G. Sayles Insurance Services, we strive to protect the investments of homeowners like you. Our comprehensive policies are customized for you to provide the exact coverage you need. For more information, contact us today at (800) 439-0292.