Consumers should have confidence in the homes or property that they purchase or rent. Housing violations take on many forms, most commonly including deceptive and misleading property descriptions. A realtor or property manager could commit a housing violation by exaggerating the size of the house or property, the amenities on the property, and the properties proximity to other areas. This is problematic for two main reasons.
First, the characteristics of a property all carry monetary value. Thus, if you were told that an apartment you want to rent has 2,000 sq feet of space, yet the apartment actually only has 1,500 sq of space, you would be greatly overpaying for the property. The same goes for amenities as if an apartment building says that they have a full pool, yet the pool is under construction for the first year of your lease, you are paying for a feature that you cannot use.
The second negative consequence that occurs when a realtor or property manager receives or misleads you is that you could pass on the opportunity to rent or buy another property. Taking the aforementioned situations, you could choose to rent or buy a property because of the extra space or amenities on the property. Yet if you had the accurate property descriptions, you would likely choose to rent the other property. When a realtor or property manager misleads you about a property, they are not only taking extra money from you, however, they also deprive you of your optimal living situations.
How to Protect Yourself Against Housing Violations
Fortunately, many state and local laws provide deceived real estate consumers with an opportunity to remedy deceptive real estate practices. This can include monetary compensation or even the ability to break your lease with no penalties in certain situations.
As a practice with attorneys dedicated to both real estate and consumer protection, Antonoplos & Associates is uniquely situated to advocate for victims of these unfair, and often unlawful, practices. Our team is devoted to ensuring that consumers obtain the type of legal representation they deserve when they are misled about the property they own or rent.
Our team has experience litigating rights under DC’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, real estate consumer protection act claims, and simple breach of contract matters. We also are on the cutting edge of Section 8 housing renter’s rights because such tenants are frequently denied rights to hot water, clean and safe living quarters, and other basic needs.
Whether you own or rent your property, Antonoplos & Associates is dedicated to consumers’ rights in fair housing. If you have been subject to a violation of your rights in renting or owning real estate, Antonoplos & Associates can represent you. For more information regarding housing violations, schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys or check out our blog.
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