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Understanding your rights as a tenant

When renting an apartment or home from a landlord, you will be subject to the terms of the contract that you both signed. However, even before this contract is signed, you have certain basic rights that cannot be refuted. If you are having difficulties navigating an issue regarding your tenancy or if a dispute has arisen, it is important that you take the time to understand the law in Texas.

The following are some of your basic rights as a tenant or a prospective tenant. These rights cannot be negotiated away by your landlord in a contract. If your landlord has violated your rights before or during your tenancy, you may be able to take legal action to address this.

Your right to a habitable home

Your landlord can only rent out a home that is fit to be lived in. This means that it should be considered to be reasonably safe, free from potential hazards, and without infestations. Issues with rats, dangerous mold or issues with running water could be enough to show that the home you are renting is not habitable.

Your right to privacy

When you are renting a home, you are essentially purchasing your right to privacy within that home as part of the package. This means that neither your landlord nor any other party should enter the home without your permission during your tenancy. It is also expected that they give reasonable notice before visiting your property to make a repair.

Your right to be free from discrimination

The Fair Housing Act is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, familial status, disability, national origin or religion. This means that if a potential landlord denies you a tenancy because of one of these reasons, they are breaking the law. Similarly, if you suspect that you have been denied a tenancy or that you have been given an eviction notice because of a discriminatory reason, it is important that you look into contesting this.

You should make sure that you always assert your rights as a tenant when renting a property. If you are not aware of your rights, you may be taken advantage of by landlords.

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