Tenant Rights

You may enjoy the peaceful use and full enjoyment of the property or dwelling.

The landlord must comply with the city's minimum housing code.

You cannot be locked out of a dwelling or evicted by the landlord except by order of a Magistrate (Small Claims Court) and eviction can be carried out, legally, only by the Sheriff's Department.

If you comply with the rental agreement, your security deposit must be returned within 30 days after you move out. If the landlord/agent says you have damaged the property, he is required to give you an itemized list of damages and cost of repairs before he/she can withhold your security (damage) deposit.

If the landlord does not make necessary repairs within a reasonable period of time, you may ask the City Code Inspector to inspect the dwelling. If you are asked to move and you feel it is because you requested an inspection, you can protest the eviction in court as a "Retaliatory Eviction" (see EVICTION section under "Possible Defense to Summary Ejectment".) You are protected by the Retaliatory Eviction Act for up to one year, unless your landlord can show good cause for evicting you, such as non-payment of rent, damage, etc.

You should be informed in writing by your landlord, within 60 days of paying the deposit, in which bank his/her security deposit has been deposited or what type bonds have been purchased (unless such information is contained in the lease).

If you do not receive, or you are unable to use, services normally provided by a landlord, such as heat, air conditioning, water, and hot water, for an unreasonable length of time, (through no fault of your own) you may be entitled to a rebate or reduced rental rate.