One of the common laws that apply to house renters is that they often can withhold rent or take other action because of housing code violations, according to Cornell University's Legal Information Institute. The laws regarding housing codes vary by state.
The renter also has the right to bar others from entering the property, including the landlord, states the Legal Information Institute. There is the general assumption that the renter must pay rent. However, the particular lease could override both those general principles. Landlords also cannot evict tenants in retaliation of the renters' enforcement of the lease or laws related to housing.
Those looking to rent a house are protected by federal discrimination laws, including for race, religion, national origin, gender or disability, notes the American Bar Association. Landlords must be careful about the wording of advertisements of rental properties to avoid language that could be discriminatory. Renters can request accommodations for disabilities, and landlords may only deny the request if it is deemed to be unreasonable. Landlords can require that renters pay for modifications to the house, unless the modification was made in order to comply with law, in which case the landlord must be the one who pays.