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Landlord retaliating?

So to get things started, the home we live in has had LITTLE to NO repairs during the 5 years we've lived here. Even though we've notified the landlords of the problems, we were promised they would be fixed, and it never happened. I've also been waiting for a screen door to my back porch for 5 years now.

Finally this March, I complained to the county officials and had someone inspect our home and write them a letter.

A few weeks later one of our landlords (3 siblings own this place) came over with a plumber to inspect the house and discuss repairs. Upon his way out, he said:

"Next time, we don't need to go to these extremes, just tell us."

I was dumbfounded as I have told them. I've told his mother for the first year (she passed away) and then I told his older brother (who recently passed away after being alive for the four other years we've been here). I know for a fact the elder brother kept records because he told me so.

A month after that, I get a letter in the mail saying they're going to raise our rent.

"Due to the rising cost of property taxes, insurance, assessments, and maintenance of the property we find it necessary to increase the monthly rent. You have been a reliable tenant over the years, hence the reason there has never been an increase to date. It is our hope you will remain a tenant,, but if this is not feasible, this should serve as adequate notice for you to make other arrangements."

Then today was the cherry on top.
I'm a stay at home mom, my husband works from 7am to 330 and then 400-8pm (sometimes later). We only have one vehicle, so I'm home all day with a young child.

I'm sitting here at the computer, drinking my coffee and enjoying a plain donut, when I hear a key being put into my lock to the back door. My initial thought is that it's my husband, so I abandon my items and run to unlock the door for him. Upon opening it, I'm greeted to a strange man standing at the door and a set of keys to MY HOME in the lock.

APPARENTLY their claim is that the plumbers have been trying to get into the house for 7 days now. Yet I've been home this entire time (the only time I go shopping is at 12 midnight while everyones sleeping and I go to the 24 hr walmart/giant eagle) and only received ONE letter on Tuesday evening about a plumber coming on WEDNESDAY (which btw he NEVER showed for).

What are my options here? I mean, is this suitable claims to start something?
I know the retaliation is against the law here in medina county (ohio) but I'm wondering if anyone has any tips or has experienced this before.

Answer Question
 
Tragedae

Asked by Tragedae at 11:59 AM on Jun. 8, 2012 in Relationships

Level 4 (50 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • I honestly don't see this as retaliation. You've lived there five years without a rent increase and the repairs are being done.

    The only thing I would have a problem with is the plumber just coming in without knocking first. If he didn't show up when he was supposed to then I would expect another 24 hour notice to come into play.

    That said, I'm not a lawyer and I have no expertise in this area so these are just my opinions.
    BrawnwynII

    Answer by BrawnwynII at 12:05 PM on Jun. 8, 2012

  • Wow that all sounds very fishy! I would call the landlord(s) and ask them to come over for a sit down face to face talk and straighten things out. There should under NO circumstances be some stranger given a set of keys to your house! If the plumbers need to come in when you're not home (which is obviously NEVER) then the landlord should be there to let them in! I think if the landlords do not sit down with you and talk things through then you need to contact an attorney, it also might be wise to look up the laws in regards to landlord/tenant responsibilities in your county. Do you have a signed lease that has set rules?
    DreainCO

    Answer by DreainCO at 12:05 PM on Jun. 8, 2012

  • @Brawnwynll
    I also should mention that we live in a home with a upstairs apartment. So we have neighbors upstairs. Our old neighbors mentioned that they were being chased out and 6 months later, they left. I'm unsure if they've raised the rent to the upstairs. I'll ask my new neighbors how much they're paying because when we first moved in here, we inquired about the upstairs rent amount. If it hasn't changed yet ours had, I think that might also be a key argument.

    @DreainCO
    Unfortunately they're not inclined to talk. Plus they're very hostile. I've tried being nice and it has just been pushed right back in my face. We have a month to month lease with very few rules.
    Tragedae

    Comment by Tragedae (original poster) at 12:09 PM on Jun. 8, 2012

  • Honestly I would have slammed the door in that guys face and called the cops right then & there!! I do not let strange men come in my house unannounced!! I would have kicked the guy in the cookies for him trying to break in like that!!

    Crafty26

    Answer by Crafty26 at 12:13 PM on Jun. 8, 2012

  • @Crafty26 LOL
    Don't get me wrong, he was a nice guy. I'm sure it wasn't his idea to come into a home unannounced.
    I'm more than certain it was the landlords go ahead.
    If not, ugh that's creepy.
    Tragedae

    Comment by Tragedae (original poster) at 12:15 PM on Jun. 8, 2012

  • why is this person not knocking first? why are they entering the back door? I would talk to the plumber and ask what their instructions have been. did they try to call you? what number do they have for you, etc. you certainly don't want to make things worse in your relationship with the landlord if the plumber has crappy communication/business practices.

    How much did rent go up? what percentage increase?

    zetajen

    Answer by zetajen at 12:21 PM on Jun. 8, 2012

  • They have ABSOLUTELY no right to enter a property that you are renting. It doesn't matter WHAT their excuse is. Once you're renting the place, all rights are transferred to you for the duration and nobody has the right to enter without your permission. It's called breaking and entering (even if they don't break anything because they have the keys). I would be heading straight for a lawyer's office - not about retaliation but about security, breaking and entering, fear, etc. How on EARTH can your landlord seriously expect you to accept that an unaccompanied stranger enter your home???? Call a lawyer ASAP. Also discuss changing the locks with the lawyer because for all you know, the unknown plumber may have had a copy made and might come back with other intentions.
    winterglow

    Answer by winterglow at 12:25 PM on Jun. 8, 2012

  • He probably just thought that no one was home because there was no car. You can fight this all you want, but I wouldn't stay in a place where the landlord didn't want me. They can do a lot to make you life miserable. I would start looking for a new place to live.
    momofkids

    Answer by momofkids at 12:26 PM on Jun. 8, 2012

  • Yes, this is actionable. That said, start looking for a new place right now. Have a plan for getting out by July 1, because things won't get better. STILL file a complaint.

    Did you document? Were your requests for repairs over the years in writing? Do you have copies? If not, you don't have a lot to go on but you do have the county backup. I suspect your landlord got fined for code violations and that will be another reason for the increase.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 12:34 PM on Jun. 8, 2012

  • Here in PA, they are required to notify you (unless it is an emergency) if someone is coming in to due repairs. They need to provide at least 24 hours notice and it is to be in writing.
    layh41407

    Answer by layh41407 at 12:37 PM on Jun. 8, 2012

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