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Your tenants’ rights checklist

While some landlords might accept an oral agreement, most will require a written contract. Before signing this, you need to read it carefully. You can talk to your new landlord if you need to change anything. You can then figure out how to reword the contract to satisfy both parties. Once it is correct, you can sign it.

When you read it over, you also want to ensure your contract covers your rights as a tenant.


One of your rights is quiet enjoyment. That means they cannot disturb you in a way that prevents you from living in peace, such as with an unfounded eviction. Additionally, if other renters in your apartment are bothering you, your landlord will need to do something about them. That said, you also cannot disturb others in the apartment building.

Health and safety

Landlords are responsible for repairing anything affecting their tenants’ health or safety. If your landlord refuses to fix something that affects your health, you can petition the court and get a repair order. This is a relatively simple process.

Security devices

All rental units come with security devices, including window latches, ways to lock your door and peepholes. Your landlord is responsible for installing these. If any are missing or faulty, you can request that your landlord repair or replace them.

If your landlord does not adhere to these fundamental rights, you can end your lease, repair the problem and deduct it from the cost of your rent or file a suit in court. Start by sending a letter via certified mail, see if they fix the problem and then take action if they do not.