Landlord-Tenant Law Memphis TN
Landlord-tenant law varies by state, but typically covers the rights and obligations resulting from the landlord-tenant relationship, including the lease or rental agreement itself, termination, abandonment, eviction, renewal, rent, security deposit and improvements and repairs to the property. A landlord is a person who contracts through a lease or rental agreement to fully or partially rent his or her real property to another for a specific time period and for a set payment of rent. The person who rents such property from a landlord is referred as a tenant.
Landlords usually require potential tenants to complete a rental application providing prior employment, income, credit and rental history. Landlords may check with previous employers or landlords and/or credit bureaus, if authorized, to obtain information regarding the potential tenant. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires landlords to disclose whether their refusal to rent to a particular person is based on credit information other than that contained in a credit report. A landlord must allow a potential tenant to request the credit information and must provide the tenant the nature of the information within a reasonable time. If a landlord refuses to rent to a person based on information contained in a credit report, he or she must inform the person of the reason for rejection, the name and address of the agency that provided the negative information and inform the person that he or she may obtain a free copy of his or her credit report by requesting it within 60 days.
Federal law generally prohibits landlords from refusing to rent property to persons on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, sex, age, disability (physical or mental) or parental status through the Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Amendments Act. Such discrimination laws do not typically apply to landlords of owner-occupied buildings with four or less rental units, religious or private organization housing, senior citizen housing and single family houses rented without discriminatory advertising or a real estate agent. Some states may also have laws against marital status, sexual preference or age discrimination. A landlord may not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act by refusing to rent to a disabled person who uses a trained animal as a guide. A landlord must apply any standards he or she sets for choosing a tenant (such as stable income or good credit or rental history) equally to all potential tenants. Further, landlords must apply the terms of the rental or lease agreement equally to all persons once they become tenants, including penalties for late payment of rent and reasons for termination.
Two or more persons who enter into a rental or lease agreement with a landlord are referred to as cotenants. Although cotenants have the same legal obligations under a rental or lease agreement, each cotenant may be independently liable to the landlord for failure to comply with the...
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