When a landlord takes legal action against a tenant for failure to pay rent, the tenant has the right to proper notice of the proceedings against him and the opportunity to make up the back rent, according to FindLaw. The tenant also has the right to appeal.
Tenants also have rights under federal anti-discrimination laws, explains FindLaw. This includes freedom from housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, family status, physical disability, mental disability or mental disability. Family status discrimination includes prohibiting people with children or pregnant women from renting an apartment. Mental disability includes alcoholism and past drug addiction. Many state and local laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of marital status or sexual orientation.
Federal law prohibits specific actions against members of the protected classes, FindLaw notes. Landlords cannot produce advertising that indicates a preference for any one class of renters, or in any other way indicate a preference. It is illegal for a landlord to claim an apartment is not available when it is available. A landlord cannot use a different standard to judge the rental application of protected-class members or refuse to rent to a potential tenant because He belongs to a protected class. Landlords also cannot demand different deposit amounts from members of a protected class, or treat a tenant's late payments differently because he is a member of a protected class.