Tips for Handling a Nosy Landlord

Nosy NeighborWhile you might be a renter, that doesn’t mean your landlord has the right to invade your privacy. If your property owner seems to be too interested in your business or is always showing up to check in on you, you do have options for dealing with it.

What’s the Law?

It is your rights as a tenant to have privacy. There are state laws that designate when a property owner can and cannot visit you or the property. For example, landlords cannot enter your property without your permission unless it is in an emergency — such as a reported gas leak, pipe, etc. Most states require landlords to provide at a minimum of a few hours — to a few days — notice before entering.

Discuss It Over With Your Property Manager

Some landlords don’t realize they’re coming off nosy or intrusive. Be honest and communicate with your landlord. Let them know that you feel they are entering your property too frequently or not giving you adequate notice. There may be a way to work toward a solution. While it is their job to know the law, new property owners may be unfamiliar with tenant-landlord laws. So a gentle reminder could be all it takes to get them out of your personal space.

Create a Formal Request

If speaking to your property owner in person doesn’t yield positive results, the next step may be to send in a formal request. A formal, written complaint is important for your own records too. That way if you ever have to take your property manager to court, you have documentation of their behaviors. In the letter, make sure to include the dates your landlord entered the property, how much notice they gave, and the reasons for their entrance. Send it certified mail so that you have proof of delivery.

Get Help

If after speaking to your property owner and submitting a complaint they are still violating your privacy, you may need to seek out additional help. There are resources for tenants who feel that their landlords are violating the tenant-landlord laws. Visit your local housing authority and discuss your situation. Show proof of your communications with your landlord and the violations they conducted following that. You may have to consult an attorney if you want to break your lease because of your landlord’s violations. Remember that you may have to go to court to discuss the violations; therefore, have documented proof of how your landlord was behaving and also a copy of your lease — in case there are special stipulations listed in the lease.

Whatever you do, don’t move out without discussing the case with an attorney. Moving out without notice could result in your property owner suing you for violation of your lease and withholding your security deposit.

Jun 2014