TENATE/LANDLORD:  Tenant rights disputes often focus on late or unpaid rent, security deposits, damage, or repairs that are needed. If you and your landlord are unable to resolve your differences yourself, using mediation through the local bar association or business association can be a low cost way to come to an agreement. If a landlord has violated the Fair Housing Act and has discriminated against you, file a claim with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). You have renter rights that allow you to take legal action if your landlord breaches the lease, does not return your deposit (or deducts from it without reason), or does not keep your unit in reasonable condition. It is also illegal for your landlord to retaliate against you (raising your rent, evicting you, or refusing to care for the unit) for merely doing what is within your rights. You can file in small claims court for enforcement of your rights. If your landlord files a case against you, you must have notice, time to respond, time to fix what he or she is complaining about, and a chance to defend yourself in court. You always have the right to appeal any court decision.  As a renter, you have many rights and protections. Educating yourself allows you to make good decisions and be prepared for any potential problems that could occur. Please seek the advice of an attorney.