Tenant associations are voluntary organizations of renters of private and public housing aimed at protecting the rights of the tenants. A tenant association may consist of renters living in a building, in a development or entire neighborhood, city or even county.
Role of Tenant Associations
Tenant associations also play an important role at the city and county level:
- Lobby with the government to protect the rights of the tenants.
- Negotiate with the landlords on behalf of the tenants to improve the condition of the buildings and the services provided to the tenants.
- Play an important role in protecting the rights of tenants.
- Spread awareness amongst their members about federal, state and local laws that affect tenant rights.
Right against discrimination
As a tenant, you have the right to join a tenant association. Your landlord cannot prevent you from becoming a member of a tenant association. Federal and state laws prohibit the landlord from discriminating or taking retaliatory action against any tenant solely on the basis of the tenant’s membership of a tenant association. Examples of prohibited actions include:
- Eviction threats
- Not making the necessary repairs
- Sudden unreasonable hire in the rent
If your building has sufficient common area and your landlord allows other groups to meet in the common area, then your landlord cannot prevent a tenant association from using the common area for a meeting.
Joining a Tenant Association
If your building or neighborhood already has a tenant association, you can join the association. You can also join other city or county level tenant associations.