A majority of landlords are professional and attentive to their tenants; however, some may be overbearing and make living conditions difficult. If you have an encounter with this type of landlord, I will show you the simple way on how to scare your landlord. I have been a tenant for years myself, so I know the drill.
Landlord harassment can come in various forms, such as threats of eviction, physical abuse, threats of violence, changing locks, or discrimination based on race, religion, or gender. Although your landlord owns the property, they do not have control over your life as a tenant. As a tenant, you should know your rights and how to exercise them to protect yourself from a difficult landlord.
How to Scare Your Landlord
Know Your Local Tenant Rights
The biggest scare you can give your landlord is knowing your rights. You need to know your rights as a tenant because landlords are typically wary of tenants who are well-informed about federal and local landlord-tenant laws. Let your landlord know that you are familiar with these laws.
If you think your landlord is treating you unfairly, look up your local housing laws to see what counts as harassment in your area. For instance, in many places, landlords cannot raise the rent without notifying you, enter the property without your permission, or take away any amenities that were promised in the lease. These simple irresponsible acts can get your landlord in serious trouble.
Take Records Keeping Seriously
It would help if you documented all interactions you have with your landlord. This includes keeping a log of visits made to the property, whether for inspections, maintenance, or other reasons, and noting the time, duration, and reason for each visit. Also, save all emails, text messages, and other forms of communication with your landlord. These records scare your landlord if you ever need to take legal action against them.
Keep a Copy of Your Lease Agreement
The lease agreement is a binding contract between the tenant and landlord and outlines the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement. Therefore, both parties must uphold their end of the agreement. Sometimes landlords may forget or disregard the terms of the lease and begin to harass the tenant.
In such cases, a copy of the lease agreement can serve as a valuable tool to remind the landlord of their obligations. If your lease allows you to have pets, then your landlord cannot tell you to leave because you have pets or make you get rid of them.
A copy of your lease agreement reminds your landlord of their responsibilities when they start making unreasonable demands. This is an effective way to scare your landlord and keep them at bay.
Sometimes, landlords deliberately ignore or forget about maintenance and repair requests. You can make sure your landlord fixes the problem as soon as possible by submitting your requests in writing. Written requests are a great way to hold your landlord accountable and get them to act quickly. By law, your landlord is required to respond to written requests and fix the problem within a reasonable amount of time. If they don’t, you’ll have a paper trail to prove their negligence.
Stand Up to Discrimination
Landlords cannot discriminate against tenants based on their sex, religion, race, or disability. If you feel that you are being discriminated against, you should reach out to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD can take legal action against landlords who refuse to rent to someone or ask them to leave because of their sex, race, disability, or personal choices.
Report Violations to the Relevant Authorities
It is the responsibility of your landlord to make sure that the property is safe and in liveable condition. Thus, they must comply with all local safety regulations, which include obtaining any necessary certificates and permissions from local authorities.
If your landlord fails to provide you with a gas safety certificate or doesn’t meet fire safety regulations, you can threaten to report them to the local council or other relevant authorities.
Did your landlord physically assault you or threaten to evict you without following legal procedures? You can contact the police. A landlord cannot force you to leave without going through the appropriate legal channels. Moreover, they are not allowed to remove your belongings from the property without a sheriff present. Before you make a police report, gather any evidence you might have, such as videos, photos, or statements from witnesses. Threatening to involve the police alone can scare your landlord to their senses.
Consider Legal Action
If your landlord continues to harass you or violates the terms of your lease, seeking legal help may be necessary to protect your rights. Contact a landlord-tenant lawyer for advice on how to handle the situation. Even if your landlord tries to intimidate you, getting legal advice can help you stand up for your rights and take the necessary steps to protect yourself.
When harassment from your landlord becomes too much to handle or if you feel unsafe in your home, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit against them. This is a step you can take if your landlord has failed to provide a safe living environment and has disrupted your peaceful enjoyment of the property.
Move Out of the Apartment
Most landlords dread the prospect of having to find new tenants, as it can be both time-consuming and costly. If your landlord has made your living situation unpleasant by being unreasonable or demanding, one option you have is to move out when your lease is up for renewal. You can then share your experiences with the landlord on social media or rental review websites. This can make it more difficult for your landlord to find new tenants and can also put a dent in their rental income.
However, when sharing your experiences in reviews, make sure you have solid proof to back up your statements. It’s really important to gather all the evidence and keep records that support your claims, just in case your landlord decides to take you to court.
Usually, you want to have a good relationship with your landlord so that they can provide you with good references. If you have been harassed, make sure to follow the highlighted steps to scare your landlord or simply sue them.
Never take the law into your own hands. Damaging the property or breaking your lease to get back at your landlord could end up backfiring and getting you into trouble instead. All in all, keep detailed written records, gather all necessary evidence, consult with a lawyer, and consider filing a lawsuit against your landlord.
Read also: Can a Landlord Bad Mouth a Tenant?