Suspicious Activity

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  #1  
Old 03-13-18, 08:32 AM
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Angry Suspicious Activity

I believe that my Landlord is trying to get me to move out so he can renovate my unit and hike up the rent. He keeps on telling me that "we have other units available elsewhere". Now why would I want to move out of my unit if everything is fine and dandy? The average rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in the city I live in is $2,500-$3000 a month, and I only pay $1,000. I've been living in my unit for about 10 years. Recently, there has been a lot of suspicious activity in my home. My unit has been entered several times without permission or notice, and this ALWAYS happens when I leave and come back a few hours later -- and this is NO coincidence! Also, my phone has been tapped because I can hear static and clicking noises a few seconds into speaking with someone on the phone. Then a few days ago, someone has meddled with my phone line because when I came back to home from leaving to watch a movie, the phone was completely dead. I notice suspicious people with blacked out windows, and a carpenter (works for the landlord) will wait to I leave by hiding in a van just around the corner when there are PLENTY of parking spaces around my unit. The other day a man sweeping around my unit (NEVER seen him before). He shows up just the right time when I am about to leave, and when I returned, my door locks are ALL locked. I only lock the deadbolt; but when I returned, BOTH locks were locked. And when I entered into my unit, it smelled like something TOXIC. I also got sick from it. This is VERY disturbing!!! What can I do about this situation?
 
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  #2  
Old 03-13-18, 08:41 AM
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Move.

Seriously.
 
  #3  
Old 03-13-18, 10:16 AM
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Set up a motion camera and call cops on anybody entering apartment without reason. This includes landlord.
 
  #4  
Old 03-13-18, 10:39 AM
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This is definitely the age of hidden cameras as pugsi suggested. I would use at least twp to be sure one was very well hidden.

Also, take pictures of the interior to be sure nothing goes missing or to spot anything that has been moved.

It does sound very strange and unless he is renovating other units or treating for some infestation I can't think of any reason for the activities you mentioned.

Moving might be the easiest solution, but I'm not always inclined to give in that easily. Make notes and create a record of all observed activity.

Bud
 
  #5  
Old 03-13-18, 12:05 PM
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Find a lawyer who does "tenant's rights" work (the initial consultation should be free). Tell him you want to discuss a case of "constructive eviction."

The wordage might vary but certain principles of tenant's rights are pretty universal across the US. In general a landlord is obligated to maintain the dwelling's "safe habitability" and owes the "implied covenant of quiet enjoyment" to his tenants.

So harassing you to try to drive you out because he can't raise your rent could be considered a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment, and might make him legally/financially liable for what it costs you to move elsewhere. You might also be able to get damages in addition to expenses.

But (unfortunately) you need a lawyer's opinion on how to proceed. For instance, local statutes might stipulate that the landlord can't be held responsible until after you've presented him a written list of your grievances and given him opportunity to respond. That's probably what you'd want to do anyway if you'd rather not move because your rent is so cheap. So it might be worth a month's rent to you to hire a lawyer to write a threatening letter to your landlord.

In any case, I'd say it's in your best interest to document everything that's going on that you find suspicious. Record all the details along with date and time. Photos and/or video probably would be especially useful, particularly if you have to go to court.
 
  #6  
Old 03-13-18, 12:55 PM
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I don't disagree with the above advice; my advice to move is based on the idea you don't want to be living in property owned by people who act this way. If you can get them charged with something, if you can get compensation from them, then that's great.
 
  #7  
Old 03-13-18, 01:03 PM
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I emailed my Landlord concerning this matter and he never replies. He never replies to any of my emails. I had trouble with my neighbors (also renting) dogs pooping all over my area and bugs somehow crawling into my unit. There were other issues, and the landlord NEVER answers my emails regarding these issues. I remember calling him about some pest control issues and he hung up on me and completely ignored it. He takes care of ALL the issues my neighbors are having and never does anything about it when I have a problem with my unit. He thinks by ignoring me, he can get me to move out. I am going to search for a good lawyer, and then I will be looking for another place. I don't want to deal with this any longer. Also, thanks to all who responded to me!
 
  #8  
Old 03-13-18, 01:25 PM
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If everything you're saying factual, then he defiantly wants you out and you should take the advice as suggested here. However, there are other ways (legal) to get you to move. Such as :
Failure to pay rent
Tenant consistently late with payments
Damaged caused to the property
Being a nuisance to neighbours
Using the property for illegal purposes
Breach of any other obligation in the tenancy agreement

He can raise the rent to to be on a par with the other units. He can tell you renovation is necessary and that other units will be available to you. Do you have a lease or a written contract or agreement? Is this a rent control unit? Something doesn't sound quite right.
 
  #9  
Old 03-13-18, 01:43 PM
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According to what you have said:Failure to pay rent
Tenant consistently late with payments
Damaged caused to the property
Being a nuisance to neighbours
Using the property for illegal purposes
Breach of any other obligation in the tenancy agreement

I have not broken any of these. I have been living in my unit for over 10 years and NEVER have I failed to pay rent. I pay rent in advance! I have done absolutely NOTHING wrong. It's funny that after I emailed my landlord, not too long after, there is a vehicle with NOBODY in it BLOCKING the exit so I can't go anywhere with my car. When I went back into my home, this person in the vehicle left. He/she must have done this quick because the vehicle disappeared as SOON as I opened the door to my unit and looked back.
 
  #10  
Old 03-13-18, 02:28 PM
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I forgot to mention that the landlord has raised the rent over the years. And there is rent control. My rent goes up about 30-50 dollars each year. He had sent some sort of contract with rental laws to all tenants stating that he can only raise the rent so much each year. He has already done some renovation at the house (4 units) across me when some guy who has been living there moved out because of a new job located elsewhere. I don't know if he has done renovation to the other units. He has repainted the house (which has 3 floors).

I suspect that my landlord wants me out so he can renovate the place and raise the rent. Why would he do that? Because I live in a high cost of living area, and the average rent for a 1 bedroom apt is at least 2,500 a month, and I only pay 1,000. So you can see why he would want to raise the rent.
 
  #11  
Old 03-13-18, 02:47 PM
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I did not mean to be accusatory on my first post. I hope I did not come across that way. If I did I'm sorry. I was only trying to point out that typically a landlord only need tell a tenant (in writing or other legal means with advance notice) that they want them to leave.
As others suggested, document everything and use a camera. Both still shots and video. After you have evidence and documentation, then go get a lawyer or even a detective and do your own surveillance.

Is there any former or current bad incidences that have taken place that he may act this way? Since he won't respond to your e-mails or messages you may want to go to his door and face to face ask what is going on. He cannot throw you out without due process of local laws. And he cannot harass you. If you have proof or evidence that that is happening you can get a restraining order and sue for damages.
 
  #12  
Old 03-13-18, 05:59 PM
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Um, yeah. I agree that something doesn't sound right.
Most residential leases in the USA, and Standard California Realtor residenital lease,
are for 1 year, then renew month to month. Usually, if a landlord wants somebody to leave, they can give you 30-60-90 days notice and your lease ends.

But, instead of doing something simple; somebody is hiring carpenters, and people with brooms and cars with blacked out windows to annoy you. And "they" are tapping your phone lines, picking your locks, and parking your car in, and filling your apartment with toxic fumes? And, you've been calling your landlord regularly to complain about this?

So... playing devil's advocate here, (with 20+ years of experience in rental management)
You've been there 10 years, ok.
There's a problem with "bugs crawling into your unit...."
That begins to make a bit more sense.
Wild guess here- Has the landlord ever asked you to clean up your apartment,
or notified you that they needed access to your unit to deal with a cockroach problem?
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 03-13-18 at 06:25 PM.
  #13  
Old 03-14-18, 06:55 AM
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This thread is a rerun of a thread from a year ago. Apparently you ignored everyone's advice then so what's changed?

I'm sorry, but the comment about your phone being "tapped" says a lot.
 
  #14  
Old 03-14-18, 07:00 AM
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Good catch CW. Could be a case of paranoia or delusion. Just say'n.
 
  #15  
Old 03-14-18, 07:35 AM
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This is NOT the same issue I had a year ago. This thread is NOT about bugs in my unit, or other problems; it is about TRESPASSING without permission or notice. I already knew someone was going to accuse me of being "delusional" or "paranoid". It's interesting how people accuse other of having mental problems when that person has FACTS to back it up. My phone HAS been tapped (FACT). Blacked out vehicles parked near my unit (FACT). They vehicles don't belong to the neighbor's or their friends. To those who think I am delusional...you might as well not reply to my posts because all it does is make matters worse, and it's deceiving also to think that it's all in my MIND because that will result in that person not continuing to further investigate the issue. That person will then be deluded into believing that it's all in their mind. My question to these people. If you were witnessing all these suspicious activities, would you just think that it may be all in your mind and that nothing is wrong? Or would you investigate it because you have the FACTS? lol!

Thanks for your advice: Fred_C_Dobbs, Bud9051, and pugsl
 
  #16  
Old 03-14-18, 08:52 AM
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This thread is NOT about bugs in my unit, or other problems; it is about TRESPASSING without permission or notice.
...
My phone HAS been tapped (FACT). Blacked out vehicles parked near my unit (FACT).
But, your landlord or a repariman entering the apartment you rent,
but which the landlord owns, isn't trespassing,
it's maintenance.

So far, you've posted about problems with:

ants galore,
small gnats,
slugs,
tiny moths,
neighbors dogs,
mold,
mice,
squirrels,
appraisal
the people entering your apartment to deal with these...

I think you might have a poor working relationship with your landlord;
and, just guessing here, he finds it's easier to simply do the repair work when you're not there.
 
  #17  
Old 03-14-18, 10:39 AM
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This probably is going to end either with the landlord succeeding in driving you out of the apartment or with you beating him over the head with the law. Which of those two endings comes to pass will depend largely on how well you protect your position between now and then.

If you want to stay you'll need enough evidence to convince a judge that your landlord is harassing you and intends to drive you out. With proper evidence, you might get a court order forcing the landlord to honor tenant's rights laws. After which you're still going to have to remain observant and document it whenever you think he's violating the court order.

If you want to move elsewhere, you'll still need evidence of harassment so you can be compensated for moving costs.

Email is not evidence because you can't prove he received it. You need to be sending certified mail. It carries more clout if it comes from an attorney, especially if you want to stay.

And you need to be documenting in a manner that is admissible as evidence. Notes of your personal observations are evidenciary but they need to include date, time and circumstance. Photo and videos with date/time stamps are best.

If the men in black are parked in front of your place, you need to document that, too. Go out in the parking lot and take pictures of their car. Take photos of the occupants, too, if any. If the windows are too dark to see through, go to the front of the car and take pictures through the windshield. Knock on the driver's window. If they answer, ask them who they are and what they're doing. If they don't answer, enter that detail in your report of the incident. Be sure to get a photo of the license plate.

If the landlord is this desperate to get you out, that also raises the possibility that he's going to contest the return of your security deposit, so it might even save you money to hire a lawyer.

Bottom line, if you don't take proactive measures to protect your position, you're as good as giving him permission to drive you out at no consequence to him.
 
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