Knowing your rights is an important part of protecting yourself in a rental situation. However, this can be complicated in that each state provides different protections. To help find resources for your state, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a website with each state's tenant handbook.
There are some basic assured rights for all renters:
- Right to a rent book - The rent book provides information on: the landlord's address and name, the amount of rent, if you have to pay rates and how much rates you pay, when you have to pay rent.
- Freedom from harassment and illegal eviction - Harassment includes any action designed to stop you carrying out one of your rights as a tenant.
- Appropriate Notice Period - At least 28 days's notice is required leave the accommodation. The landlord has to give you this notice in written form. If you are planning to leave the accommodation you should also notify the landlord in writing either 4, 8 or 12 weeks in advance of the date you intend to leave. The length of notice that is required in these circumstances depends on how long you have been living in the property.
- Due Process of Law - Your landlord must follow the correct legal procedure before evicting you. Your landlord cannot force you to leave the property unless they: get a court order or get the Enforcement of Judgements Office to enforce the order.