Know Your Rights as a Renter

Safeguard Your Living Situation

For individuals who want to live independently and be more fully included in their communities renting a house or an apartment can help make this goal a reality. While renting can be a wonderful opportunity it can also be confusing. It is important that the renter understands their rights and knows where to go for help if they feel those rights have been violated.

As a renter you have the right to live a clean and safe home. If the conditions in your home are unsafe you should let your landlord know so that they can fix the problem. Renters have the right to be treated fairly. A landlord cannot treat you differently or refuse to rent to you because of your race, ethnicity, or disability. You have the right to make complaints and not worry that your landlord will be angry or treat you badly because you made a complaint.

Renters also have the right to their privacy. Your landlord cannot enter your home whenever they want or for any reason. As a renter you must let the landlord in your home if they are there to make repairs or do maintenance, if they are showing the home to perspective renters or buyers, or if they are allowing code inspectors to visit. Landlords must provide you with 24-hour (1 day) notice before entering your home.

Eviction is when a landlord makes a renter leave their apartment or house. Landlords can only evict renters for good reasons, like not paying rent or not following the lease. If a landlord wants to evict a renter they MUST go to court and provide the renter with notice.

Knowing your rights as a renter can help make renting less confusing. For more information on your rights, click here.

Here are more resources if you feel your rights have been violated:

Housing Insecurity – New York Legal Assistance Group ( – free legal services

Services – Make the Road New York (