In any rental situation, both landlords and tenants have rights and they also have certain duties. For landlords, these requirements include providing a safe, habitable place to live. They have a right to protect their property and to remove tenants who violate the terms of a rental contract. Tenants have the right to make requests for repairs and a duty to pay rent. Given the nature of a rental situation, disputes often arise over whose rights have been violated. In these circumstances, the assistance and advice of an experienced real estate attorney can be invaluable.
Important Information about Landlord-Tenant Law
Provided by The Payne Law Office, Chartered, in Chicago
If you are involved in a landlord-tenant dispute, you may be uncertain about the law and the process, as well as your rights. This page provides answers to basic concerns about landlord-tenant law, so that you can determine whether you want or need to hire counsel.
At The Payne Law Office, Chartered, we protect the rights of landlords, helping you take the necessary legal action needed to protect your business interests. When you hire us, we give our undivided attention to your legal matter, responding promptly to your calls or e-mails, and keeping you fully informed of all developments in your case.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Landlord-Tenant Law
Q: Does the Fair Housing Act prohibit discrimination against minorities?
A: Yes. Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act) makes it unlawful for a landlord or property owner to discriminate against potential renters (or home-buyers) on the basis of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and handicap (disability). The Act prohibits a variety of improper activities including, among many others, lying about the availability of property, charging more rent to minorities, or attempting to keep neighborhoods or other areas free of minorities.
Q: Do gays and lesbians have a right to live in an apartment together?
A: Currently no federal law specifically prohibits discrimination in rental housing on the basis of a person's sexual orientation. Some states and communities, however, do protect the right of gays, lesbians, and transgender individuals in housing opportunities. For example, some states make it illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant based upon their sexual orientation or to prohibit them from renting an apartment. The protections afforded, if any, depend greatly on the state in which the action has occurred.
Landlord-Tenant Law - An Overview
When you are interested in entering into a lease for an apartment or rental property, you will have to sign documents that bind you to your decision. Afterward, any number of things could go "wrong," such as a discovery that the property is unsafe for habitation, or your failure to pay rent when it is due. Sometimes real estate issues are resolved without the involvement of judges or lawyers. In other situations, the disputes and consequences surrounding the rental of property necessitates legal assistance and resolution. At those times, the help of an experienced and effective real estate lawyer, like those at The Payne Law Office, Chartered in Chicago, Illinois, becomes a key component to protecting your financial and personal rights, whether you are a landlord or tenant. If you are involved in a real estate dispute, call The Payne Law Office, Chartered today
Fair Housing Rights
An important 1968 federal law called the Fair Housing Act (FHA) serves to protect individuals from unfair housing practices based upon their race, color, national origin, sex, family status or disability. If you feel as though your rights under the FHA have been violated, you need an attorney to help protect your interests and restore those rights. An attorney with experience in real estate law can advise individuals about their rights under the FHA.
Rent and Security Deposit Issues
A lease by its very nature requires payment by the tenant, usually on a monthly basis, of a rent or fee. In any rental situation, a potential tenant is also asked to provide a security deposit when first entering into a rental agreement or lease. Of course, matters are not always simple and disputes often arise between a tenant and a landlord regarding rent and security deposits. If you are caught in the midst of a dispute over rent or security deposit issues, an attorney specializing in real estate law can help steer you toward a fair resolution.
Termination of Leases and Evictions
When tenants and landlords enter into a lease, there is an underlying presumption that, at some point in the future, the relationship will end either through termination of the lease or some less amicable way, such as an eviction. If you are involved in a lease termination or eviction situation, discussing your options with an experienced real estate law attorney can help make sense of your rights and obligations.
Duties and Rights of Landlords and Tenants
In any rental situation, both a landlord and a tenant have rights and responsibilities that should be maintained and respected in order to allow for a smooth relationship. Often, disputes arise about who is responsible for what or who has a right that has been violated. In these situations, an experienced real estate law attorney can be a crucial advisor and negotiator.
Landlord-Tenant Law Resource Links
Website for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the agency in charge of fair housing issues; includes an online version of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act).
Housing and Urban Development Rental Information
This portion of HUD's website is devoted to rental issues including information on budgeting for an apartment, apartment searching, and renters' insurance.
This web site, from About.com, has general information on a host of rental issues from what to look for in a lease, to apartment decorating tips.
Rental Housing On Line
Rental Housing On-Line is full of information on a variety of tenancy issues. Check under the "guest subject areas" tab for a full listing.
State-Specific Landlord Information
This web site is mostly devoted to landlord (and some tenant) issues, divided on a state-by-state basis. Links are provided for laws, updates, and guides, among other items.