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4: Make Your Housing Plan — I Want to Rent

Landlord Rights and Responsibilities

Hands passing keysJust as your rights as a tenant vary by state, so do the rights and responsibilities of your landlord. Your lease should define exact rights of the landlord, which is why it’s important to understand the lease before you sign.

Landlord Rights

  • The right to collect rent. Simply by the fact that you are renting, your landlord has the right to collect rent and any prearranged late fees for overdue rent payments. 
  • The right to raise your rent according to your lease agreement.
  • The right to evict. Your landlord has the right to evict you, especially if you do not pay your rent. State laws vary regarding eviction proceedings, but most will allow the landlord to collect back rent and any legal costs associated with an eviction. 

Landlord Responsibilities

  • The responsibility to keep the property safe. This covers basic safety like proper wiring to prevent electrical issues, flooring that does not cause one to trip, etc. 
  • The responsibility to not discriminate. This is covered by the Fair Housing Act.
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