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Renting an apartment is a great way to live in a city and not have to worry about buying a property. It gives you the freedom to move around. And always be in the neighborhood that best suits you. But, just because you live in a rented home doesn’t mean that you don’t have your right. And it’s important for you to know your tenants’ rights. If the need to enforce them arrives, you need to know where your limits are. And what you are entitled to.

Why is it important to know your tenants’ rights?

There are many situations where knowing your tenants’ rights is crucial. The apartment you are living in is your home. Your sacred place. And you need to be able to feel comfortable in it. As a renter, you have some basic rights that are guaranteed to you by the law. As well as other rights that regulate what you can and can’t do in your home. So, before you start looking for Manhattan moving and storage, and schedule your move to NYC. Make sure you know what you can expect to have. And how you can enforce your rights.

apartment that is within your tenants' rights to inspect before moving in
You must be able to inspect the apartment before signing a lease

You have a right to inspect the unit before signing an agreement

One of the first rules regarding your rights is the right to inspect the unit you are about to move into. Meaning that your landlord can’t prohibit you from visiting the unit you want to rent. This is especially important when moving to Manhattan as a student. You have a right to take a look at every room. And make sure that the unit is livable. And that is up to the standards of modern living. 

What to look for when renting an apartment?

When renting an apartment in New York you need to check for a few things. The first and most important aspect is the habitability. Is the unit you are about to rent completely habitable? Do the building and unit meet the safety code requirements? You should talk to the neighbors. And make sure that the noise levels are something you can live with. So visiting a place at night before you move in might be a good idea.

Know your tenants’ rights when it comes to the livability of a unit

Landlords are prohibited from renting out apartments that don’t meet certain livability standards. And you should know your tenants’ right before you move into an apartment in NYC. First, it’s important that the home is weather resistant. Meaning that the roof isn’t leaking and that all the windows are in good condition. Second, the apartment needs to meet certain minimum requirements. It has to have working electricity, plumbing, and heating. If they aren’t, your landlord is obligated to fix them.

group of diverse people representing your right to know your tenants' right to be treated equaly
You must be treated equally regardless of your nationality, gender, or race

You have a right to be treated equally

Discrimination is something that is, unfortunately, still present in today’s society. But, as a renter, you are protected in such regard. And it’s very important to know your tenants’ rights when looking to rent an apartment. Your landlord can’t refuse to rent an apartment to you based on your sex, national origin, family status, disability, religion, color, or race. You have the right to be treated equally. It’s also important to know that your landlord isn’t allowed to place any special requirements or restrictions based on these factors.

Know your tenants’ rights when it comes to repairs of the apartment

When it comes to repairs that need to be done in the apartment, the law is not so straightforward. And knowing who is responsible for fixing and paying for damages isn’t as easy. In most states, it’s the landlord’s obligation to maintain the apartment. It essentially boils down to what is type of damage. And who is responsible for it. 

Your landlord is responsible for maintaining livability standards in the apartment. Meaning that if the heating isn’t working, they are the ones who should repair it. But, for minor damages, you are the one who is responsible. Let’s say you did some furniture removal NYC and accidentally scratched the wall. That damage falls on you. And not your landlord. But, if all of the sudden electricity in the apartment stop working, through no fault of your own. Then the landlord is the one responsible for having it fixed.

dog representing your tenants' rights to keep pets
Make sure you check whether or not you are allowed to have pets in the apartment

Can your landlord charge you for keeping pets in your apartment?

Most apartments available for rent have a certain clause regarding pets. Some don’t allow them. While others do. Some landlords might even charge you extra for keeping pets. Not checking is one of the common mistakes when relocating with pets. If your landlord allows pets in the apartment, they might ask for a higher security deposit. Or even add a pet fee on top of your rent. The goal of these fees is to mitigate any damage that your pet might cause. 

Know your tenants’ rights for ending the lease early

There are many situations when you might want to leave your apartment early. Maybe you found a new job in the other part of the city. Or maybe you just found a much better and more affordable apartment. But, before you call Divine Moving and schedule your relocation, you need to check with your landlord. First, it’s important to talk to them. If you both agree that leaving early is ok, then you can move without any issues. But, in some situations, you might be required to pay an early cancellation fee. Or find a suitable replacement. Someone who will take on your lease and continue paying rent.

It’s also important to know your landlord’s rights

Just as it is important for you to know your rights. You also need to be aware of your obligations. While you do have a right to live as you please in your apartment. There are some situations where you might run into issues with your landlord. And to avoid them it’s not enough to know your tenants’ rights. For example, you can’t refuse your landlord to enter your apartment. As long as they have given you notice early enough and with a good reason, you are required to let them in. You also need to respect the building rules. As well as respect everything written your rent agreement.   

About Author

John has been with Divine Moving and Storage in New York for nearly two decades. Starting as a young helper and climbing up the ranks to be a staple in our organization. John has the knowledge and experience to assist our clients with any move or storage related needs. You can reach John or any of our associates in NYC at 212-244-4011