Rent a home or room, know your rights

Rent a home: Know your rights

by TONY SAMPSON

Welcome readers (or should I say, digital readers?)

As you know I have been contributing to Apostrophe for many years from my residence in Maryland. Now, I have the respectful honor to write for the new digital format.

Tony Sampson

Tony Sampson is a graduate of Leaders in Disability Policy and a former member of the Maryland Disabilities Council. He works at Home Depot.

Today I am going to talk about knowing your rights in the real world.

My friend, we’ll call him Sam, is a person with a disability who moved into a room for rent. From the minute he moved in, both he and his roommates continually had problems with the landlord.

During the summer, Sam liked taking cold baths to cool himself after a long, hot day at work. Because of his baths, according to the landlord, the water bill kept getting higher and higher.

Find more of Tony’s stories here.

Even though water was included with the utilities as part of the rent, the landlord charged Sam for it anyway. The landlord even got on Sam and the other tenets for an outstanding water bill. It was over $400!

Sam said that the landlord hounded him and the other tenants whenever they left. He demanded the money on the spot.

One time the landlord threatened to do a bank levy on Sam’s account, which means the landlord would take the money out of his account to get the money.

It was a good thing Sam’s counselor, who the landlord said could not visit, was there to help him work out the entire situation.

A month later, Sam’s counselor and his support team helped him move to a better home.

Do you know why the water bill was expensive? It was due to a leaking toilet. The landlord expected the tenants to pay for something he was responsible for anyway!

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