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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Jul 29, 2016

Your rights as a tenant may not always be clearly spelled out for you. Many people don’t know all of their rights, and if you’ve had an application rejected, have been evicted or are just moving into a rental for the first time it’s important to know the basic rights given to you by federal and state law.

Your renting rights as a tenant

There are a number of rights given to tenants by the federal and state government.

Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws

Federal law prohibits landlords from rejecting your application because of discrimination. The following are anti-discrimination laws set by the government:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Familial status
  • Physical disability
  • Mental disability

It is also illegal to act with the following discriminatory conduct:

  • Advertising for the rental cannot contain any statement indicating a preference or limitation.
  • A landlord cannot say that an apartment is not available when in fact it is available.
  • A landlord cannot use a different set of rules for assessing applicants belonging to a protected class.
  • A landlord cannot refuse to rent to persons in a protected class.
  • A landlord cannot provide different services or facilities to tenants in a protected class or require a larger deposit, or treat late rental payments differently.
  • A landlord cannot end a tenancy for a discriminatory reason.
  • A landlord cannot harass you.
  • Disclosure Requirements

The landlord must tell you the reason they rejected your application. If they rejected you because of negative information about you, you have the right to know.

Right to a Habitable Home

The landlord must ensure that the place you are living is habitable, meaning it is fit to be lived in. It cannot be unsafe or have unhealthy or gross living conditions.

Tenant Privacy

Your landlord cannot come into your apartment without notice unless it is a true emergency. Your landlord must give you advanced notice before coming in to make a repair or to do an inspection.