Landlord Entering Apartment

12 Replies

I need some advice. My wife and I are both disabled and I lost my source of income. I was not able to pay my rent and my landlord said she would release us from our lease and had another tenant ready , which we agreed to. We are moving at the end of the month, but for the last week the landlord has been using her key to let herself in and walk through our apartment. She claims that she has the right to enter with 24 hours notice and when I asked what happened to the notice, she told it that was our word against hers and to prove that she didnt give it. The other night my wife and I were sleeping and we were awakened to her standing over our bed shaking the bed to wake us up. She said she was doing a walk through inspection and would be back again tomorrow for another. She said if we dont like the invasion of privacy then to pay her or get out earlier. She told us that it is unlawful for us to change the key or put in a chain, and she was within her rights as an owner to walk in anytime she likes. Is there anything that we can do ?? Please help. 

Call the cops next time. She is illegally entering your apartment if she does not provide 24 hours notice. And it is most definitely not "her word against yours." In any realistic scenario, the onus is on the landlord to provide proof that proper notice was given.

Sure. How much did you stiff this woman for in last month's rent, Brian? Was it $1000? More? How's she supposed to pay her own bills? She's probably halfway to losing her own marbles from worry that her credit is going to take a hit because she can't pay her bills. And don't tell me she has plenty of money. She obviously doesn't...obviously no experienced, professional landlord does such things. What, is she retired and is this the one apartment she has as her only source of income? And she took a chance on you because she was too gullible and inexperienced to screen you properly? That sounds like the other side of this story.

You're living there rent-free for this month, freeloading off your landlady, and you want your rights, yes you do. Of course you can't pay her, you "lost your source of income." And of course it's not your fault. And of course it's not her fault that you lost your source of income. But who gets to pay for your freeloading this month? She does, of course. Too bad for her, right? She should just accept it as a business loss, right? You ever run a business? Ever had freeloaders come along and steal your money? I highly doubt it, Brian.

Too bad if she has to eat Alpo or split some of her meds in half this month to get through it.

Now you want advice from other landlords on how to shaft her properly, get some more money out of her maybe.

"Please help." Maybe you want this permanent post on this website to document that you asked people for help today so you can file a frivolous lawsuit against her later? I'm not buying this story of the evil landlady and the helpless tenants exposed to her merciless cruelties, Brian.

True, she absolutely shouldn't be coming into your apartment without notice.  And walking into your all's bedroom, while you're sleeping, and then shaking the bed to wake you all up sounds absolutely nuts. 

If she truly hasn't given you all notice for these entries, then yes she is legally in the wrong.  But then, you all are also stealing from her.  Her behavior is outrageous, but so is yours.  I'm sympathetic you lost your source of income; however, you made your problem her problem and that is really messed up.

If you all don't like it, then you all should just leave.  I don't like her bad behavior to be rewarded, but you all should have left back on the 1st when you couldn't pay the rent.  She still would have been in a world of hurt, but at least she wouldn't have felt as taken advantage of.  She might have also been able to move someone in sooner and better mitigate the financial damages you all have left her with. 

I'll tell you a little story for some perspective.  I had tenants for 18 months who always paid, but always paid a few days late.  This last February, it was the same story.  We finally posted a 5 Day Pay or Quit notice on their door on the 8th (Thurs.).  We were stupid to have not done it sooner because they usually paid by the 5th but, oh well.  Only then did they finally come to us and admit they didn't have it and weren't going to have it.  So they would move out.  The wife verified with my husband that they had until the 16th.  He told her, "Legally, yes, but keep in mind you haven't paid any rent for this month and you're already really f**king us over."  With that in mind, they at least moved out the morning of the 13th.  However, there wouldn't have been any cost for them to move their stuff to the curb and clean the apartment.  But, of course, they didn't bother to do that because they knew they weren't getting their security deposit back and left 90% of their belongings in the filthy unit.  The rent for that month was their security deposit.  But we were left with $1700 in damages that had to come out of our own pocket.

And THAT is what is like for landlords when they get stuck with a deadbeat tenant.

@Brian F. Hard to have sympathy for deadbeats who won’t pay their bills . How are you two “ disabled” ? And both not able to sit at a desk and do desk work ? Who are you to be giving demands to the owner of the home? Your a grifter living off of the taxpayers and now some poor lady trying to rent out her property . Pay your bills bry bry . Ain’t nobody got time for dat !

Joining this was the worst mistake that I ever made, I only asked advice and instead got toms of hateful messages passing judgement on something that people does not know about, so sad that this country has become so very selfish and hateful, what ever happened to Christian charity and mercy, just hate. I am 92 years old and people are telling me to get a job, really. 

Originally posted by @Brian F. :

Joining this was the worst mistake that I ever made, I only asked advice and instead got toms of hateful messages passing judgement on something that people does not know about, so sad that this country has become so very selfish and hateful, what ever happened to Christian charity and mercy, just hate. I am 92 years old and people are telling me to get a job, really. 

So your on disability at 92 ? What about social security to pay that rent ? You gotta pay your bills regardless of your age .the landlords bills don’t disappear because you are broke she still has to pay out to everybody ,but now it’s out of her pocket . That is theft and as a Christian point of view the Bible says in exodus 20 “ thou shalt not steal “ . Do you think you are “loving your neighbor as yourself “by forcing them to pay your debts ? Do you think you are using “ fair scales” in this matter? It’s not right 

@Brian F.

You're obviously posing as someone you're not.

"I lost my source of income" at 92. How did you lose your social security as a source of income? Did you suddenly not qualify? Is there some miraculous cure to aging that, at the same time it turns back the clock biologically for you and alters the figures in the Social Security Administration's computers remotely, is also unable to manage in passing the trifling challenge of fixing what ails you?

Now you're pivoting away from the banal mechanics of digital record-keeping to theology: you invoke a lack of Jesus as what's wrong with America. If there was just more Jesus, this landlady wouldn't be frankly deranged as you steal rent from her this month, the posters on this website would be able to smell the BS just lying under your cover story, and the world will be a far better and kinder place. Charity, mercy, and understanding is what you want, yet the ogre landlady should receive her just deserts. Because that would be righteous.

Brian, I doubt you're 92. I'm more or less certain you're a barely functional grifter looking to work the welfare system more effectively than you already are. I suspect you really are stuck with an angry landlady whom you're screwing out of this month's rent -- that part of your narrative seems too specific and detailed to be wholly the product of an otherwise sharply compromised imagination. 

Why haven't you called the police on the landlady already? If you can pass judgment as you have on what's wrong with all of a nation, surely you can reason your way to the understanding that the clearly psychotic behavior you describe should be brought to the police's attention. Or is it that the obvious answer will not suit, that you want the police involved as little as possible in this, looking further into your business, and you're hoping that a community of real estate investors might be enticed to give you some sort of inside tip, a clever informed and foolproof way that only they know about that's guaranteed to get your landlady off your back and allow you to continue grifting off her with minimal stress for the rest of the month?

I very much want to understand, Brian. Please help. Do it for Jesus.

Do other states not require a second non keyed deadbolt on each entry door? It's a state law in Texas that all rental properties have them. I guess our state isn't as backwards as the media would have others believe. 

Wow you all are harsh! To answer the OP of course the LL has no right to just enter the home and stand over your bed. That is harassment. As for all the holier than thou moralizers about stealing: the tenants agreed with the LL that they would leave by a certain date. The LL has a deposit which he can keep for the last months rent. So actual damages are not real (assuming Brian doesn't trash the place). The lease is a contract. Contracts can be ended by negotiation. That's what happened. Now both parties should abide by it. Its not stealing. Its contracts. And its certainly has nothing to do with any religion!

@Anish Tolia

Of course I agree that the LL has no right to violate the tenant's quiet enjoyment, let alone like this. This is psychotic.

Of course contracts can be ended by negotiation. Who could argue with that?

But the rest of it all sounds very much like a typical outlandish tenant sob story delivered in the usual plaintive whine: the frankly impossible statement "lost my source of income at the age of 92," the soulful appeal "Christian charity and mercy," and and the open-ended, suggestive plea "Is there anything we can do ?? Please help." Both @Dennis M. and I are self-managing, low-income housing landlords in Western Pennsylvania -- he's a bit north from me, but we've heard variations on this kind of pathetic, improbably sob story just as long as we've been dealing with low-income tenants. You get to recognize how they sound after a while when the tenant is obviously lying -- the landlord is always COMPLETELY in the wrong, evil, monstrous, wicked, the tenant is always COMPLETELY unable to defend themselves and in the situation through ABSOLUTELY NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, and finally (and this is most important) the tenant NEVER OPENLY SUGGESTS any sort of access to the law no matter how obvious that solution is. Because they want their credulous listeners to suggest it for them. "You should sue!"


At the same time...

There are actual, damaged people who have undergone real, completely undeserved abuse out there. I've rented to them. The way THEY tell their stories, their actual, TRUE stories, will bring you to tears. Every landlord, every social worker, and every police officer I know has a dozen of them. It's never the sort of thing where you have an utterly clear villain and an utterly clear victim -- it's the mechanisms of society that batter these people helplessly.

The addicted, abusive husband who can't help himself from still wanting to see his kids and try to fix his marriage, but also can't fight his raging addictions without help he can't get from a system that just wants to process him as cheaply as possible. The emotionally-dependent wife that can't help enabling him, but has to leave him when he becomes a danger to his children.

The childhood accident that leaves a very young girl permanently scarred and she chooses a completely marginalized husband because it's precisely his marginalization that allows him to understand her own. Whatever their faults and mistakes in life these two people stay with each other for the rest of their lives.

The two addicts that meet in rehab and despite the odds manage to help themselves to sobriety and productive lives, keeping and advancing in their poorly-paying jobs despite everything holding them back. These people have absolutely no financial literacy and will obviously never be able to live in anything other than D-class rental housing because they will fail every criminal check ever done on them for the thing they did before finding sobriety.

The large, gentle, utterly lonely borderline mentally-retarded man convicted at 18 of inappropriately touching a teenage girl, sent away to prison for a decade. At 40, he's obviously no child molester and will never go near a teenage girl again, but all the same, he will for the rest of his life be branded with a mark worse than Cain's. Again, he'll never be able to find housing anywhere other than in a ghetto.

These are all real stories, and they make listening to sob stories like this one even less tolerable.

PAR leases (pennyslvania realtors association leases) say  "24 hour notice when possible" however, that is not a right to just come and go when the landlord wants. if you had a bad leak or an emergency repair and he/she couldn't get a hold of you then by all means, enter the property to fix it, but it sounds to me like harassment and an invasion of privacy. no good!