Three Examples of Landlord Harassment

in Legal Issues on by

You have settled into your new rental and everything is going great. Then maybe a problem begins to arise regarding landlord harassment. Landlord harassment can take many forms. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Withholding Maintenance and Lack of Repairs

You have been paying on time monthly, and when you noticed an item in need of repair, you call the landlord. He says that he won’t fix the problem. If you call and ask him again, he still refuses.This is a form of harassment. Maybe it is his way of trying to make you vacate the property. A reason for this might be that he is wanting to raise the rent, but can’t until you move or your lease it up. It is a tactic used mostly in rent control situations, but can occur with anyone.

Harassment based on Race, Sex or Sexuality

If the landlord finds out that you are not of the heterosexual preference, he can not legally harass you. As long as your monthly rent is paid, your existence is none of his business. If you rented a place without meeting the landlord, and he should discover your race or gender, that also is none of his business. A landlord is not legally allowed to try to force you out of the rental based on any of these factors.

Unwanted Visits

Your landlord showing up during an appropriate time of day is acceptable. When your landlord shows up many times during a week or late at night, this is unacceptable. This is a form of harassment. Generally, your landlords would not need to visit your rental, unless it were to show it to potential renters of a different apartment. In that case, at least three days notice should be given to you. If a landlord shows up with no prior notice and wants to show your unit, you have the right to turn them away. If your rent is current, that is by all rights your house. You control who comes and goes.

If harassment is occurring, there are ways to put an end to it . If your landlord works for the company that owns the apartment complex, try going to the landlord’s boss first. The problem might get fixed without any police involvement. If it does not stop, then it is best to file a complaint with the local police department.  If all else fails, moving out might be your best option. Since it is likely that is what the landlord is wanting, he will very likely not hold you to the lease and you would be able to find a more peaceful environment.

One Response to “Three Examples of Landlord Harassment”

  1. December 10, 2010 at 7:26 pm, Anonymous said:

    Another incredibly misleading article.

    Firstly, fair housing laws protect from discrimination on far more than the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation. There are both state and federal fair housing laws which specify the protected classes. This information is easily found online.

    Secondly, a good landlord should be walking the exterior of the property regularly, not only showing up to exhibit the premises to prospective renters. They should be regularly checking the common areas for cleanliness, lighting, and repairs. In addition, they have both the right and obligation to periodically check the condition of the interior of the unit. In California, they only need to provide a 24 hour written notice to enter the unit, not the three days stated above.


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