Tenant Rights and Legal Issues
Be sure to read the entire lease and understand everything before you sign.
- Document all verbal agreements (repairs, painting, etc.) and be sure that notations of them are signed on all copies of the lease.
- Always pay using a check, money order, or bank cashier's check. Never pay in cash unless you immediately get a written receipt.
- Remember that both the tenant's and the property owner's rights should be protected.
Protecting Yourself (and Your Money) in a Dispute
If you have a disagreement or dispute with your landlord:
- Talk to your landlord. Discuss the situation and possible resolutions, including a time frame for repairs.
- Organize the details. Take notes and photos; document e-mails, phone calls, and any correspondence; note date, time, and location when event occurred.
- Be persistent. Follow up with the landlord if the situation has not been taken care of in the time frame agreed upon.
- If there has been no resolution or the landlord has not contacted you, there are a number of local and regional agencies that can assist you.
Move In and Move Out
- When you move in or out, make sure to walk through with camera in hand to record the condition of the apartment. Check out BardOffCampus.com for easy-to-use inventory and condition forms.
- Be sure to properly dispose of your trash and recycling to avoid hefty fines when you are moving out. Respect your neighbors; make sure you have removed any outdoor furniture, garbage, or recycling.