Landlords do have a certain level of control.
However, they do have some restrictions.
The pandemic led to many Americans to suffer financially, including renters. Many renters are still struggling, but unfortunately the Supreme Court lifted eviction protection during the summer. Additional details can be found here.
Most states also ended eviction bans. That means if the tenant doesn’t pay rent, the landlord could kick them out.
There are some rent relief programs. According to the Community Housing Improvement Program, the average rent owed is about $20,000. However there are some actions that landlords cannot engage in.
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 says that landlords cannot refuse to rent to an applicant based on race, sex, family status, sexual orientation, or disability.
Landlords are also prohibited from listing rental properties that do not allow families or people with children.
2. Unjustified rent price increase
Landlords can increase your rent, but it must be done legally. Upon renting, you’ll sign a lease agreement which will likely include terms for a price hike.
Usually, landlords can’t raise your rent until the end of the lease period. There are exceptions to this such as getting a pet or adding another person to the household.
If the property has been significantly renovated, that may also call for a rent increase.
If you have a month-to-month agreement, landlords can hike prices at any point.
The specifics depend on your state. For example, in New York there is no increase restriction on the amount landlords can lawfully add to your rent. However, if it is more than a 5% increase, the tenant must be given a written notice.
3. Unlawful evictions
If you have a fixed-term lease you can’t be evicted for no reason. However, if the lease terms have been violated you could face eviction.
Month-to-month renters have less control. However, states including New York and California prohibit eviction without reason.
If the landlord decides to evict a tenant, a notice must be provided.
4. Enter without consent
Although the property technically belongs to the landlord, they can’t enter without going through the proper procedure.
Most states require the landlord to provide a 24 hour notice period before showing up. In the notice, the exact reason for the visit must be stated. It could be for something like repairs or inspection.
If the proper steps are taken, the tenant cannot deny the landlord but can request a different time or date.
Emergency situations such as a flood or fire would not require a notice.
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