Owner vs Renter Rights

Our U.S. Government teacher in high school took a practical approach to education. Every week we'd have a guest speaker from the community come into our classroom and lecture on something that would be useful to us upon graduation. One week it was opening bank accounts, another it was our rights during police confrontations, but the oddest was the time he brought a local landlord in. If there was a slummy part of our community, this guy owned it. He expounded at lengths on the binding nature of leases and pounded the lectern while driving home the point that landlords have more rights than tenants. That weekend, I hung out with some older coworkers from the bike shop, and we rode the guy's brand new mountain bike down the steps of his apartment. Well, some of us rode it, others bailed on the first step and let it tumble all the way to the bottom of the stairs. The next day my friend received an eviction notice, and I laid some knowledge on him about his rights based on my learnings in U.S. Government class--basically that he was screwed. That's when I found out that the landlord who'd come into our class was there to indoctrinate us with his side of things, and that tenant rights far outstrip anything a landlord can throw at you. Now I make sure to ride my bike down the stairs everywhere I live.

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