Sometimes, when a landlord does not fulfill the terms of a lease, tenants need to associate in order to get a response.
Understand Your Rights as a Tenant
Most states provide the same basic rights to tenants. These typically include the right to a safe home, meaning there aren't any exposed electrical wires, gas leaks, or similar safety hazards. In addition, your landlord must provide a working heating system and running water. If you live in an apartment complex, the landlord is responsible for keeping all hallways, stairwells, and other parts of the property shared by all tenants clean and free of any safety hazards.
Sometimes Renters Band Together
A tenants association is a group of renters who band together to serve as a more effective force against landlords who don't meet their responsibilities. If you live in a community where many renters share the same landlord, forming a tenant association can be a more effective way than acting alone to get your landlord to make repairs and improvements in a timely fashion.
Start Your Tenant's Association
The most important part of forming a tenants association is to find other renters or neighbors with the same problems and the same landlord. There are no formal requirements to starting the association.
You'll need to advertise to neighbors, schedule a time and place to hold meetings, and elect the tenants who will serve as leaders of the association. Once the tenants association is formed, you then need to decide as a group which landlord issues to tackle first and the strategy to use. A lawyer can help you determine the right course of action.
Sometimes You Should Act Alone
When the problems you face as a renter are serious and specific to your home, you may need to take individual legal action rather than waiting for action by a tenants association. If you have small children living in a home with live, exposed, and accessible electrical wires, you need to have their wiring fixed immediately. Contacting a lawyer might be your best option.
A Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding tenants associations and problem landlords can be complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. We hope you found it useful. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a landlord/tenant lawyer.