Despite laws and guidance that foster good landlord-tenant relationships, often personalities get in the way of sound business practices (and basic human decency) that create circumstances where a tenant feels threatened or abused by their landlord.
What is landlord harassment?
The property owner's abuse is in situations where a resident feels unhappy, so discomforted that he/she tries to transfer or cancel a lease agreement. The abuse of landlords and tenants is also used in interchange as an example of a resident's sense of being abused by his landlord. Harassing a neighbor to make his life miserable is unethical so that he needs a lease contract to be transferred or terminated.
Unfortunately, some property owners have been threatened, as can be seen in New York and California, to get their tenants to abandon their rental managed units. In the major cities of these countries, landlord abuse is seen as a concern in that particular laws and safeguards have been developed to protect renters and punish infringers. For examples of tenant protection from abuse of property owners, see San Francisco, Santa Monica, CA, and NYC.
It is a serious problem that a landlord does not consider lightly to get accused of abuse. If you find yourself holding on your tenant, you must authorize them to remain on the property for the period of the tenancy unless your tenant breaches some terms of the tenancy. Both landlords and tenants should be aware of what abuse constitutes.
Here is an overview of what is not acceptable behavior and what could be considered harassment:
Taking away services provided in the lease (such as parking or laundry)
Shutting off utilities for harassment or eviction
Entering an apartment without proper notice
Changing the locks while a tenant is away
Offering to buyout a tenant if they move and threatening eviction if the tenant says no
Performing unnecessary inspections, too often or at extremely inconvenient times for the tenant, like the middle of the night
Lying or intimidating a tenant
Giving a “three-day notice” or other eviction notice that is based on false charges
Using fighting words or threatening bodily harm
Refusing to do repairs that are required by law
Intentionally disturbing a tenant’s peace
Interfering with a tenant’s right to privacy
Refusing to acknowledge receipt of a lawful rent payment
What to do if you feel harassed by your landlord:
You should always collaborate with the owner to solve a problem. Speak to your boss or the management company director if you rent from a property manager. Simple and active communication can overcome many issues easily and can solve a simple misunderstanding. You can speak to an attorney regarding filing a formal lawsuit and can claim damages if you've attempted to settle a legal dispute while still being threatened by a landlord.
A harassed tenant should also take the following steps to protect themselves:
Keep a list of all your landlord meetings. Make sure the time, the date, and what has been said is taken care of.
Write your landlord a letter requesting a stop to the harassment. Give the mailing evidence to the letter and hold a copy of the letter.
Please ask a witness to speak with the landlord. Testimonials and video records of your interactions can be used in court as long as legal.
Keep a copy and/or other supporting proof of all rental agreements, letters, documents, photographs, witness names, notes, and other proofs.
If you suspect your life is compromised, call the police. Call the police.
Pro tip for landlords: You will benefit from these same tips if your tenants suspect you of harassment. Please mention all your experiences in detail. To preserve excellent records, use property owners' apps. Ask a witness for your involvement and record even the interactions of tenants. Understand the law and know what legal expulsion is. Check with a lawyer in your state and town who is familiar with landlord tenancy rules.
Any uninformed tenants would easily conclude that if the landlord does a regular rental management service, they are being harassed.
Here are some examples of what is not considered harassment:
The correct notification of regular inspections.
In an emergency, enter your houses, such as a gas leak or flood
Drive-by regular inspections.
Installation of external security and land security cameras.
Call you to receive past rent daily.
You send reminders to correct a breach of the contract.
Give you notice of eviction for non-payment of rent or other breaches of the rent.
Increase the rent according to the market rates and give proper notification.
Every year, even if the property was not changed in a while.
Collect money for property damage beyond usual wear and tear by the resident.
The washing machine operated by the tenant was not fixed.
Additional precautions against landlord repression are required for tenants. If a renter has claimed the right to resist harassment or bring an action against a property owner who does not fix the property, most states deem any reprisal by a property owner against these acts to be unconstitutional.
Tech_Mania provides a good explanation of State Laws Against Landlord Retaliation:
In almost every country, it is unlawful for property owners to take action against you for acting in compliance with your legal rights – e.g.
1. Complainants on unhealthy or immoral living standards to a building inspector, fire department, health inspector, or other government agency;
2. You have the freedom to group your views, to join or organize a tenant union, or to express them. First Amendment
3. Dispose of self-help measures that the government or state legislation allows, such as a deduction of rent money and its use to repair deficiencies in the rental facility or even preservation of rent for a single room. It is necessary to note that anti-representation laws only protect you against the acts listed in the statute of your state. For all three forms of acts listed above, not everyone protects tenants.
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