How to keep landlord out of apartment
I moved into a new apartment last month. My landlord and his girlfriend live upstairs, and they have entered my apartment without my permission for non-emergency situations. I caught them at this last Friday night. They thought I was not home and entered the apartment to stop the toilet from running (a long standing problem they said--the toilet is in no danger of overflowing). I wrote them a letter pointing out that the lease states that they are only allowed unauthorized access in the case of an emergency. This annoyed them and now they have instated 'Generalized House Inspections' (with notice of course!), and have made other absurd demands such as keeping the windows locked and blinds drawn at all times (this is not in my lease). Can I get them to stop this? Can I break the lease (or indicate to them that I may) and still get my security deposit back (being that they already broke the terms of the lease by entering)? I am physically scared of confronting them in their own apartment and attempting to have a conversation--there are bullet holes in the walls of their house!
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: How to keep landlord out of apartment
I'm at a disadvantage because I haven't seen the lease, but if it says they can enter only to address emergency situations, then that's what it is. Is a running toilet an emergency? Probably not, but a judge might decide that one instance of a landlord entering in an arguably emergency situation doesn't constitute a breach of the lease. The silliness about locking windows and drawing blinds at all times (if they actually tried to enforce it) probably does constitute a material change in the lease which would allow you to get out of it. You'd have to have pretty good proof (written) of what they were doing, and even then you may have to take them to housing small claims court to get your security deposit back. With proof, you'd probably win, but it will be a pain in the neck.