If you are experiencing discrimination, impending eviction or other legal issues as a renter, there are a number of legal resources that can assist you at no cost. The public defender's office, nonprofit groups and law schools can all give renters advice on how to protect their rights and fight evictions on behalf of low-income renters at little to no cost.
Talk to the public defender's office at your local courthouse. If you cannot afford an attorney, your jurisdiction's public defender's office can provide you with free legal advice regarding your rights as a renter. To qualify for services, you may be asked to fill out a financial affidavit showing that you cannot afford to hire a private attorney.
Consult with area law schools and paralegal programs. Law schools and community colleges with paralegal training programs may have students and staff members who can help residents conduct research on their landlord and tenancy issues at no cost.
Search for nonprofit organizations dealing with consumers' rights or real estate. If you live in a large city, look for charitable groups in these areas. They often have attorneys and paralegals on staff to help renters with their tenancy cases on a pro bono basis.
Visit social service agencies in your community. If you receive social service benefits, your case manager or social worker may be able to refer you to free legal services geared toward low-income renters or families in danger of homelessness.
Get a free consultation from an attorney. Most private lawyers offer free initial consultations. If your question regarding your rights as a renter is simple and you do not anticipate needing representation in court, you may be able to have your questions answered in a single, no-cost meeting with an attorney.
- If you research your renter's rights online, verify all information you find with a licensed attorney or the clerk of the court in your jurisdiction.