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Tenants’ Rights Related Questions

Tenants’ rights are protected by a variety of federal, state and local laws. These cover a diverse set of regulations including lease provisions and termination; rent charges; eviction; safety standards; habitability and repairs; right to privacy, etc. Laws may vary from state to state where, additionally, areas subject to rent stabilization, rent control, or other rent regulation may have special rules. A tenant’s inability to use and enjoy a rental property may cause a conflict with the landlord. Tenants may want to consult a legal expert depending on their particular situation.

How are tenants’ rights protected upon foreclosure?

Before the “Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009” came into force, it was all too common for the mortgage to predate the lease and destroy it upon foreclosure. These rules changed dramatically when the 2009 Act provided that leases would survive a foreclosure. This meant that the tenants could stay at least until the end of the lease, and that month-to-month tenants would be entitled to 90 days' notice before having to move out. The buyer intending to live on the property may terminate a lease with 90 days' notice.

What are tenants’ rights concerning the apartment complex turning off the water for repairs without giving tenants notice?

You may be able to file a suit for “constructive eviction”, which occurs when the landlord makes the living conditions of the rental property intolerable, uninhabitable, or unsuitable for living, and these actions cause the tenant to surrender possession. Here, the landlord isn’t evicting the tenant but is forcing the tenant out by rendering the premises untenantable. In such a situation, the tenant should continue to pay rent until the action is filed. After that point, once action has commenced, the tenant would deposit regularly scheduled rent payments with the registry of the court.

I am renting a place in Durham, NC where the lease is about to end. Can the owner evict me even if I continue to pay the rent on time?

The landlord must notify you of the termination of lease 30 days prior to the end of lease term. It is illegal to use “self-help” eviction by locking you out of the house. If the landlord wishes to evict you, he must petition the court for an eviction order. You may call the police immediately should the landlord attempt any illegal eviction.

What are a tenant’s rights if the landlord has not given 120 days’ written notice of intent to sell the property?

The intent to sell the property does not mean that you are being asked to vacate the premises. The 120-days’ notice period is to inform the tenant of the intention to sell the property and occupy the premises with a 24-hour notice. If you have not received the notice, your recourse is to restrict entry to your property under the Civil Code section 1954 and place them on notice of suing. Violation of the Code can result in damages up to $2000. A tenant residing in any state in the U.S. is often entitled to several tenancy rights included in the lease, which is a contract between a landlord and a tenant. However, since laws vary, it is best to further research the tenancy rights applicable to your state of residence or consult a lawyer.
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