Consumer rental advice lands on Web

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Tenants are unique consumers. They don't just rent a product and take it home. The product is their home. Questions crop up at every turn, "Can my landlord charge a hundred-dollar bounce fee? Turn down a family with kids? Walk in unannounced? Fortunately, several excellent Web sites exist, brimming with housing and consumer information from sea to shining sea. One mega- linked resource, FirstGov for Consumers, is provided free of charge by the Federal government. Found via, the home page covers a myriad of topics, ranging from "Home and Community" to "Disability Info." to the "Do Not Call registry." That's just a sample, and clicking "about" will provide a complete list, with descriptions of 180 participating government agencies. Clicking on any agency will transport the user to that site. Another good place for checking on consumer rights relating to housing is via The Department of Housing and Urban Development. As a U.S. government agency, HUD provides free landlo...