Any landlord harassment of a tenant is illegal under federal law. It is also illegal in every US state law.
What is landlord harassment?
When a landlord puts pressure on a tenant in an aggressive way, then it is called landlord harassment. As a result, such actions from a landlord will affect the tenant’s living conditions. Examples include if a landlord forces a tenant to move from his rental unit or imposes force on a tenant to maintain his legal rights.
For the action to be deemed illegal, it must be an ongoing process. One isolated incident is not enough. The landlord could subject harassment upon the tenant or guests of the tenant.
Why does a landlord harass a tenant?
The are many reasons a landlord may harass a tenant, but all of them are illegal. In simple terms, a landlord usually harasses a tenant to force them to do something that a landlord wants.
It could be forcing the tenant to move from their rental premises or forcing them to follow specific rules the landlord creates. The landlord may harass a tenant by filing a lawsuit against the tenant claiming they have not maintained the rental property well enough.
There are three main reasons why a landlord harasses a tenant. These three reasons are fundamental when it comes to identifying landlord harassment. They are:
- Forcing a rent-controlled tenant to move from his rental unit. This is a very common means of landlord harassment. Basically, a landlord tries to get rid of a rent-controlled tenant. This type of tenant usually pays a lower-than-market rent rate. The landlord still needs to pay the electric bill, gas bill, and taxes.
- Disagreement with a member of a particular class or discrimination. This means that the landlord does not like a particular class of people. In that case, the landlord may forcibly move the tenant.
- A tenant may complain to the landlord after a landlord imposes force upon a tenant.
There are many reasons behind landlord harassment and several methods the landlord uses. The primary aim is to make a tenant feel uncomfortable about living in his or her rental unit.
Some of the many examples of landlord harassment include:
- Entering the tenant’s rental area without out any proper notice. If the landlord enters without giving proper notice, then it will be treated as harassment by the landlord. This applies in every states in the USA.
- Not providing the tenant with adequate facilities, such as water supply, sewer drainage and hot water.
- Refusing to perform any repair work on the rental area.
- Changing the locks of the rental area in order to prohibit the tenant from entry or exit of the tenant without informing them.
- Physically harassing the tenant.
- Directly threatening the tenant.
What can the tenant do about landlord harassment?
If the harassment problems can be solved easily, then the tenant can file a lawsuit against the landlord to get the remedies legally.
Filing a lawsuit against landlord harassment has some important benefits. Those are:
- It will increase the possibility that the landlord will solve the problems outside of court
- If the tenant wins the lawsuit, then he or she will receive money owed and a fine payment from the landlord
- The tenant will also receive costs for damages
- It will give the tenant the right to stay in their apartment
If you have any queries regarding filing for landlord harassment, then please do contact our learned lawyer.