A private tenant is a tenant who rents or leases property from a private landlord or private housing company. A private tenant has the right to demand the terms of the lease agreement are followed through by the landlord. A private tenant may not be discriminated against or locked out of the property unless the court orders the tenant to vacate the premises.
A private tenant has the right to renew or lease property without being discriminated against. Grounds for discrimination include refusal based on race, national origin, age, disability, gender, sexuality or religious beliefs. In addition to being denied residency, a private landlord may not charge a private tenant higher rent or evict the tenant based on discrimination.
Right to Refuse Rent Increases
A private tenant has the right to refuse paying a rent increase if the terms of the lease agreement do not authorise the increase. A private landlord who rents to tenants on a month-to-month or week-to-week basis has the right to increase the rent after the rental period has expired. A private tenant who cannot afford the rent increase has the right to notify the landlord that he will be vacating the premises. The written notices are generally good for 30 days before the tenant has to vacate the actual rental property.
A private renter has the right to remain in her rental property until a court has ordered her to leave the premises. A private landlord cannot put the renter out of the property, even if the landlord lives in the property as well, unless the lease agreement states otherwise. When the eviction is served on the private tenant, the landlord does not have the right to lock the tenant out of the property or to remove any of the tenant's personal property from the premises.
A private tenant has the right to contact his landlord or rental agent at any reasonable time regarding issues, questions or concerns pertaining to the rental property. If the landlord is unavailable at the rental office, the landlord should give the private tenant alternate contact information, such as an e-mail address, postal address, a cell phone number or an alternate business number.
Rights to Security Deposits
A private tenant has the right to request her security deposit back from her landlord. The security is insurance for the landlord in case the private tenant fails to make rent payments, damages the property beyond normal wear and tear and cleaning costs for the premises. A private tenant has the right to sue a private landlord in small claims court if she disagrees with any deductions the landlord has taken from her original security deposit.