How to Deal With Your A**hole Landlord
by Limus Woods
How many of you all just want to punch your landlord in the face?
Well, believe me, you are not alone. This isn’t just because so many landlords out there are corrupt, but simply because of the amount of people who rent their residences. According to Pew Research Center, more folks today are renting now than in the last half century!
There are a few issues that stand out among tenants when it comes to dealing with pushy, aggressive landlords.
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Let’s take a look at these issues, and see what you can do in any of these extremely stressful landlord vs. tenant situations…
Getting Back a Security Deposit
After giving the son-of-a-bitch money up front for a security deposit, now he’s trying to find every reason in the book not to give it back to you upon your departure. What do you do?
Well, the first thing is to make sure that your apartment is clean, and that you are leaving it in the condition that you entered it in. Otherwise, the landlord may try and take things like cleanup fees from your deposit. Also, be sure and give your landlord at least thirty days’ notice before your departure, so they won’t try to stick you for another month’s rent.
Take a minute to print out a copy of that notice, then mail it certified mail, including a request for the return receipt. You also need to make sure your landlord has your new mailing address, so he can’t say “Uhhhhmm…I didn’t know where to send it…”
Of course, if all else fails, you can always take them to small claims court if you have done all you can do and they still won’t return your refundable security deposit.
Ignored Maintenance Requests
No matter if it’s written in your rental agreement or not, you have rights when it comes to what your landlord has to fix. They have an obligation to make your apartment or dwelling “habitable”. This means that:
- They have to make sure the structure is intact (no leaking roof, for example).
- They have to make sure that there is running hot and cold water.
- They have to make sure your plumbing is working well.
- They have to make sure that your electric and heating system is safe and operating correctly.
Know your rights, and let your Landlord know that they’re in the legal wrong. The main thing to remember when it comes to maintenance requests is to put them in writing so, if you end up in a courtroom against your landlord, you’ll have proof of them ignoring you, which will greatly help your lawsuit.
Spontaneous Rent Increases
This varies from State to State. But, in most cases, a landlord has to give you a good window of notice of when rent will increase, from a couple of weeks to an entire month, depending on where you live. I mean, they can’t just stick a note to your door a couple of days before its due, saying that you’ll have to pay an extra hundred bucks out of the blue!
This rule of giving you notice is in effect because, sometimes, landlords may have something against the tenant personally, such as if they have previously reported the landlord for infractions to housing authorities, or if the landlord is discriminating against them because of their marital status, race, religion, etc.
If you have a lease agreement, it must be written that there will be upcoming rent increases on the paperwork. Otherwise, that greedy, money-hungry Landlord can’t raise your rent until your lease is up.
Whether you are a man or a woman, if your landlord is trying to intimidate or pressure you aggressively, that’s harassment. Harassment is something that you will more than likely feel, even if you don’t know the exact legal definition.
Some landlords will do the craziest stuff, from entering the premises illegally, to spontaneously raising your rent, to even verbally or physically threatening their tenants in some cases. In instances of harassment, you should always document the incident (days, times and what happened), file complaints or restraining orders if necessary, and/or attain an injunctive order from your local courts that will force the landlord to cease this type of behavior.