The relationship between landlord and tenant is not always a peaceful one. Sometimes when a landlord wants to get a tenant to move out of his property, then he may attempt to intimidate or harass the tenant. You have to learn that when a landlord’s action could be called harassment. You should also know when your landlord’s actions are legal and what you can do about it.
What is Tenant Harassment?
Tenant harassment is a type of harassment where the landlord uses aggressive methods in an attempt to intimidate or pressure the tenant. Landlords do these kinds of actions to disrupt the peaceful and quiet environment of rental units that cause problems to the tenants. It also forces them to move out of the property, and the landlord may attempt to get the tenant to refrain from pursuing any legal retaliation. However, the landlord can take legal action to evict a tenant from the property. To know more about the law related to the landlord and tenant law, you can contact Express Evictions.
Different Type of Tenant Harassment
There are a lot of different types of harassment a tenant could face. Among them the most common types are
- Sexual Harassment
- Illegal entry
- Shutting off utilities
- Cutting of amenities
- Changing the locks
- Raising Rent
- Refusing to perform maintenance
- Verbally threatening the tenant
- Physically threatening the tenant
- Refusing to accept a rent payment
- Filing false charges against the tenant
- Presenting a fake eviction against the tenant
- Construction-related nuisances
Without an emergency, a landlord has to give advance notice before he can enter the tenant’s apartment. Entering the residence without permission or any prior warning is called an illegal entry, and it could be considered a type of harassment.
Shutting off Utilities and Amenities
Shutting off utilities will violate the warranty of habitability of the property. All tenants have the right to have the necessities such as water, gas, electricity, sewer, and also heat system in the winter season.
If there are any amenities included in the lease agreement, but the landlord is shutting it off for you, then it could be called harassment.
Refusing to Perform Maintenance
If a landlord has any ill intention for the tenant then he could attempt to make the tenant’s life uncomfortable by merely refusing to perform necessary maintenance of the property.
Changing the Locks
Some landlords change the door locks of the common areas or the main entry door to force the tenant to leave the unit.
According to most state laws, a landlord has to give the tenant at least 30 days’ notice in advance before increasing the rent. Without proper notice, if a landlord demands more money, then this action could be a form of harassment.
Threatening the tenant Verbally and physically
There are some cases where the landlord uses their words to intimidate the tenant. The verbal abuse could be in person on the phone or in writing. The landlord could write on text messages, emails, or letters to abuse the tenant.
Some of the landlords use extreme measures to pressure the tenant. These harassments are not limited to verbal abuse. They sometimes use their body to block the tenant’s exit from a room or may even put their hands on the tenant’s body.
Refusing to Accept a Rent Payment
Sometimes a lot of landlords refuse to accept a rent payment to intimidate the tenant. They threaten the tenant to take back a complaint and move out of the property.
Filling False Charges Against the Tenant
Among all the common landlord harassments filing false charges against the tenant is most common. A lot of landlords file fraudulent charges against their tenants to evict them from the property. These charges could be a violation of a no pet policy and many others like this.
Filing a Fake Eviction Against the Tenant
A lot of landlords try to get the tenants to move out by sending them a fake eviction notice. Eviction is the legal process to make a tenant move out of the property, but if a landlord uses a false notice to scare the tenant then it will be called harassment.
Sexual harassment is one of the most common types of harassment. A landlord can use crude remarks to the tenant or use other obscene sexual advances to harass the tenant.