Responsibilities as a Tenant
Moving into your own apartment is an exciting change that can be fun and rewarding if you are aware of your responsibilities as a tenant, roommate, neighbor, member of the community, and a Duquesne University student. Common sense and knowing your legal responsibilities will help you if a rental problem occurs. For the most part, landlords desire a positive relationship with their tenants. A Tenants Guide To Renting is designed to protect both the landlord and tenant rights.
Paying your rent and paying it on time is important. The Office of Commuter Affairs suggests that you do not pay rent with cash unless you receive a written receipt indicating the month of rent, amount, date received, and signature of the landlord. This is your documentation if the payment comes into question in the future. Paying rent with a check or money order is preferred because it provides you with proof of payment. If you and your roommate(s) are required to submit only one check rather than individually, make sure to get everyone's share before the rent is due so that payment is not late and you do not incur late charges. Your rent should be paid up-to-date even if you are having a problem with your landlord.
Your rental unit must meet minimal construction, maintenance and safety standards of the City of Pittsburgh. Landlords are responsible for replacing or repairing items to keep the unit in a habitable condition. Tenants are responsible for contacting their landlord when a problem arises. If possible, follow up with an email, so you have proof of your request and the date the landlord was notified. Landlords are required to make the repair(s) within a reasonable length of time unless it's an emergency situation.
Housing Code Violations
If you feel your rental unit does not meet housing code requirements and are unable to resolve the issue with the landlord, you may need to wish to file a complaint with the City of Pittsburgh Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspection and ask them to visit your unit for an inspection. If the unit does not meet legal standards, a notice and a timeline will be given to the landlord for correction of these requirements.