- Find Attorney
Rent is a an agreed sum paid at fixed intervals by a tenant to the landlord for possession and use of property. Written rental agreements provide for a tenancy for a short period, usually 30 days. The tenancy is automatically renewed at the end of this period unless you or your landlord end it by giving written notice, usually required to be given 30 days in advance of when the period expires. For these month-to-month rentals, where he rent is paid monthly, the landlord can change terms of the agreement with proper written notice (subject to any rent control laws). This notice is usually 30 days, but can be shorter in some states if the rent is paid weekly or bi-weekly.
Tenants have a legal obligation to keep the premises in a clean and sanitary condition and pay the agreed upon rent. Failure to do so may result in eviction or forfeiture of security deposit funds. The law imposes certain duties on a landlord to maintain the premises in habitable condition. Failure to do so, such as providing adequate weatherproofing, available heat, water and electricity, and clean, sanitary and structurally safe premises, may be legal justification for a tenant's defensive acts, such as moving out (even in the middle of a lease), paying less rent, withholding the entire rent until the problem is fixed, making necessary repairs (or hiring someone to make them and deducting the cost from next month's rent) The landlord for a partial may be sued for a refund of past rent, and in some circumstances can be sued for the discomfort, annoyance and emotional distress caused by the substandard conditions. States typically require landlords to provide a specific amount of notice (usually 24 or 48 hours) before entering a rental unit. In some states, landlords must provide a "reasonable" amount of notice, legally presumed to be 24 hours.