The lack of affordable housing for lower-income people is a growing problem, both in urban and suburban areas. While the majority of landlords want to ensure that their tenants’ homes are safe and within their budgets, there are those who employ shady and sometimes illegal practices that take advantage of vulnerable people who are just trying to make it as best they can. 

Unjust Evictions

To most people, the idea of getting evicted from a rental property usually involves non-payment of rent or a tenant’s bad behavior. However, less-than-scrupulous landlords try and succeed in evicting people over maintenance complaints or because of the possibility of getting higher rents. Unfortunately, many municipalities don’t inspect rental properties, nor do they investigate tenant complaints. Low-income tenants may not have access to the necessary documentation needed to prove their cases, which makes it easy for deceitful landlords to get rid of them just by filing an eviction notice. 

Poor Quality Housing

Landlords are legally obligated to keep their properties well maintained as part of keeping their tenants safe. Corrupt landlords, though, frequently try to get around this. Skimping on repairs maximizes a landlord’s profit margins, and since rentals are usually not inspected after a building is purchased, some rental property owners will do the bare minimum to fix things. Building issues are only part of the problem. If a landlord is lackadaisical about to whom he or she rents and only cares about being promptly paid every month, discourteous neighbors can also lessen housing quality.

Illegal Actions

Sad to say, some landlords take full advantage of their tenants, whether current or future, not being knowledgeable about rental laws. Refusing to rent to someone of a particular race, religion, or ability status is illegal, as is entering an occupied rental unit without permission. If a landlord wishes to raise rent rates, he or she can only do so within a certain amount and at certain times. While potential and present tenants should be aware of their rights, sometimes having that knowledge is not always possible. If a landlord is threatening enough, bearing in mind that tenant harassment is also illegal, he or she may just decide to give in to keep the peace.

Good landlords by far outweigh the bad ones. Regrettably, it is the predators who create the issues that make good housing for low-income people so hard to find. 

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