5 Common Examples of Renter Rights Violations

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Knowing your renter rights will protect you from losing money or getting ripped off. Some landlords tend to violate renter rights in the same ways. Here are some common examples to watch out for:

1. Your Landlord Asks too Much for Deposits

Your state’s law sets a limit as to much your landlord is allowed to charge you for a security, pet or other deposit. Some landlords are unaware of the laws and set deposits based on how much they want at the time, or based on what other landlords are collecting. A tenant who doesn’t know their rights might pay higher deposit amounts. Your money will be better off in your pocket than in your landlord’s bank account. Make sure to research how much deposit your landlord can collect according to the law.

2. Your Landlord Inspects Without Notice

Some tenants might find themselves renting from a landlord who wants to “watch over” the rental. They come by unannounced to check on things, or to make minor repairs. This is a violation of a renter’s right to privacy. You have a legal right to live in your apartment in peace. Intrusion by a landlord who wants to come into your apartment is a common example of how a renter’s rights are violated.

3. Your Landlord Treats Other Tenants Differently

You have the right to fair treatment by your landlord. It’s an unwritten rule that renters don’t talk about how much they’re paying in rent, or how much the landlord charged for their security deposit. However, sometimes the word does get out, and you may find out that your landlord charged you higher for both. Most state laws prohibit this practice, and landlords caught breaking those laws will find themselves in an indefensible legal position.

4. Your Landlord Doesn’t Return Your Deposit

Many renters look forward to the extra money coming their way after they vacate their old apartment. Disappointment sets in when they get an email or letter from the landlord informing them that they won’t get any of their deposit back, or only a small amount. A landlord has a right to keep any or all of your security deposit, as long as it’s legally permissible to do so. However, many landlords violate renter’s rights when they unlawfully withhold the return of a deposit. Common examples of lawful reasons to keep your deposit are:

  • You didn’t pay some or all of your rent.
  • You damaged the premises beyond typical use.
  • You left the apartment in a mess, and the landlord had to pay to clean it.
  • Your pet stained the carpets, and the landlord had to pay to replace them.

5. Your Landlord Tries to Evict You Without Notice

You have the right to be notified by your landlord (in writing) of a major breach in your lease or rental agreement. Your landlord cannot just tell you to leave without a notice, allowing you a certain amount of days to fix the problem or vacate the premises. If your right to proper notice is violated in this way, it might be best to seek the advice of an attorney as to how to remedy the situation according to your state’s law. You should also act as soon as you get an eviction notice, because your timely (or untimely) response will matter if you have to go to court.

You may ultimately have to protect yourself in court, but knowing these common examples of renter rights violations will help you spot any trouble ahead of time. Keep in mind that your landlord may genuinely be unaware he is violating your rights, and that a nicely written letter might be all that’s necessary to resolve the situation.

5 Responses to “5 Common Examples of Renter Rights Violations”

  1. October 04, 2009 at 10:19 am, Brenda Koon said:

    i and another tentant were asked to pay pet deposit and we have little dogs and noone else was then we fork the money for repairs because she wont get anyone in a timely manner to fix ( meaning waiting months still aint completed) she talks about other residents to residents and he is months late and I am really getting mad I always pay rent before its do and still cant get nothing done then she asked my husband for a job what kinda a manager does that


  2. October 19, 2009 at 7:24 pm, Shauna G. said:

    I was evicted for posting, on THIS site, the true nature and mess of my apartment upon move-in. We were told that the apartment had just been vacated therefore WE would have to clean it, which I didn’t have a problem with and did not post that it was the complex’s fault for the matter. But I also posted of the things that were broken in the apartment that needed attention and the black mold in the apartment which we had called the office of the complex to get them to fix, AFTER writing it on the initial apartment condition checklist. The mold was an EMERGENCY, as it was in a child’s room, and needed to be removed IMMEDIATELY, however, the complex waited TWO WEEKS to do anything about it! They only DID fix it and the other issues 5 days AFTER the post was written and 4 days after my family and I were evicted. From everything I’ve read, this is an unlawful eviction. They also posted the eviction letter on this site after MY post, which adds to the extreme site-bullying they participate in on their own rating page on THIS website, and a complete breach of my family’s privacy. I have all of the documents printed out to prove this, as well as date-stamped pictures, walk-through videos of the apartment in it’s previous condition, and documents of the numerous calls and 1 visit we made to the office to resolve the matter of repair for two weeks. They have given us to the end of the month to make other living arrangements under the pretense of “false allegations” toward the complex. However, none of what I posted was “false”. How do I go about resolving this in a lawful manner in the state of Texas? I have filed with the BBB and will very soon file with the state attorney general’s office. What more can I do?


  3. October 26, 2010 at 12:07 am, ams said:

    I received a notice on my apartment door Monday when I returned from work saying the person down stairs had complained about loud music, men after midnight and dirt being swept from my balcony to hers below. She was supposed to have complained to my Mom who wasn’t even there and the only person who knew my Mom came over to see me was the apartment manager. First of all , right now I am not seeing anyone and my Mom didn’t talk to anyone when she came up. I don’t have a stereo, and the only man in my apartment was the maitenance man fixing my refrigerator. She said that would go in my file, how can she take tha woman’s word for all this without asking other tenants, or me about it. The only part that is true is the wind blew my plant over and some of the dirt went down to her patio. I cleaned it up as well as I could trying not to get any more dirt down there and then I moved the plants inside. I am really upset and feel like my rights have been violated. None of this is true, I work two jobs and don’t have anyone at my apartment or any music to be loud. What’s up with all this?


    • December 10, 2016 at 8:32 am, Axel said:

      > I have a similar situation,my neighbor called the police for loud music thinking it was coming from My apartment ,but the police went to my other nighbors who was playing his stereo loud,but I was served with an eviction notice even though I wasn't the one disturbing the peace


  4. February 04, 2017 at 12:21 am, Steffany Jones said:

    My landlord accused me of having another resident who was confines to a leg monitor in another state at the time of the accusation and evicted me for it. The person also had their own lease agreement with their landlord and court orders not to leave the state to validate my argument. The landlord refused to accept and enter the information into my file and evicted me claiming I had violated me lease by subleasing. I can't get approved for an apartment now because of the derogatory mark on my credit report. I have no idea what to do about it, but theyes also claim that I owe 2000 for I'm not even sure what. My rent was paid in advance I had no balance when I left. They had my deposit which I did not attempt to get back. I am a low income mother and don't know what to do about this, but it is pertinent that I resolve it so that I can keep a roof over my child'support head. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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