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MyNewtBoobs's avatar

How do I go about talking to my landlord about entering without asking/knocking?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (18965 points ) April 20th, 2011

My landlord has entered my apartment a couple times without asking me or even knocking, despite the clause in my apartment that he wouldn’t do that except in an emergency. Today’s was definitely not an emergency, and definitely not so urgent that he couldn’t knock, allowing me to make sure I was clothed, not in a compromising position, didn’t have dirty underwear out, etc. How do I politely but firmly ask him to cut it the hell out?

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19 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

The laws covering this type of behavior vary widely from state to state. Talk to a local paralegal or Legal Aid.

I would install a chain lock so that at the least when you are home he cannot get in without knocking.

SeaTurtle's avatar

Wow, I sympathise, I once had a landlord who done the same.
My advice isnt so good (well it didnt work for me) I threatened him under the law of the country I lived in for breaking/entering.
Had a new house 2 months later, so it actually worked out for the better.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@WestRiverrat See, there’s also a clause that I won’t install any new locks, and I don’t know if that covers chain locks.

jonsblond's avatar

This is just rude. I would tell him that it startles you when he enters without knocking. It could be someone breaking in for all you know. You deserve some privacy and advance warning if anyone is going to enter the house.

nikipedia's avatar

Can you just tell him sort of humbly that you understand he needs to see the property, and there’s nothing illicit happening, but you feel self-conscious, and his walking in without warning makes you feel uncomfortable?

I think something close to what you said here might work—“When you come in without knocking, I might not be clothed etc., and that would be uncomfortable for both of us, so a little warning please!”

WestRiverrat's avatar

Meet him at the door with a shotgun. That would cure him real quick of not knocking.

The no lock changing clause would not be legal in my state, as long as you replaced the original locks when you vacated the premises, you can change them here.

aprilsimnel's avatar

There’s got to be some sort of housing authority/tenant’s rights organization in your town or county. Seek them out and find out what your options are, only because, as was mentioned, each locality has different laws regarding these issues..

atomicmonkey's avatar

I once had a landlord who decided to show up unannounced with his very senile father/property owner in tow. I’d just gotten out of the shower. It was awkward. To add to the suspense, we had two very feisty and very illegal kittens lurking somewhere in the house. Luckily, they were snoozing under the bed, but they lingered for so long in the bedroom that at any moment the feisteys could have launched at the old dude’s face like fluffy face-huggers. Of doom. Luckily for everyone, they didn’t.
I gave him the frowning of a lifetime, though. Showed him.

Buttonstc's avatar

Did you say that there is a clause in your lease which specifically addresses the fact that he can only enter your apt. in case of emergency?

If so, he is LEGALLY bound by that since both of you signed it.

Why not just go to Office Max or something and enlarge that one clause to cover an entire page and tape it to the outside of your door.

If that doesn’t get the point across, you could also tell him that if he continues to violate this part of the lease, then you will have no recourse but to install a lock of your own.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

First, I would advise talking to him about it. Tell him that you are uncomfortable with him doing that, and see what his reaction is. If you can’t install locks, you can still use a 5–10kg dumbbell behind the door as a brace – its not quite a lock, but its nearly as effective.

In my country landlords are allowed a maximum of four inspections per year, with 48 hours notice, unless they are showing people through the dwelling with the intention of selling. If his response to your conversation is unfavourable, I would check out what the laws are in your country/state, and contact any tenancy unions that may operate in your area.

Slipperking's avatar

Put up a board on your door: Please knock before entering

seazen_'s avatar

Next time confront him with a gun; it is your house and he is tresspassing. Tell him you don’t want to make a mistake next time.

meiosis's avatar

I would have a word basically saying “Look, I don’t want to get heavy about this and get a court to enforce my rights, so could you please knock first? This may be your building, but it’s my home.” If he can’t see the reasonableness in that you want to a) get in touch with a tenants’ rights group and b) start looking for somewhere else to live

SofaKingWright's avatar

Demand peaceful enjoyment of the property on behalf of the tenant – for which there should also be a clause! That means the landlord must call within 24 hours before visiting the property. You are under NO obligation to accept or even let him in.

Even though laws vary, this one is quite standard. It is not common practice to barge into a tenants home at any given time.

I once had a landlord like this. I ended up leaving, because he turned out to be a psychopath.

augustlan's avatar

I’d be very concerned that it’s actually his intention to catch you undressed. Talk 1: “Please don’t do this again, it scares the crap out of me.” Talk 2: “Don’t do it again, or I’ll report you.”

Jam a chair up under your doorknob, or get one of these, too.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

If it happens again after you speak to him, put it in writing. However (email or letter) your state considers proper notification. If a dispute arises, you will have proof that you did notify him.

I find this a little odd anyway. We have rented a lot and have never had a landlord come into the property announced or unannounced during our tenancy except on pre-move inspections.

augustlan's avatar

PS: I am a landlord, and I would never do this.

JilltheTooth's avatar

What @augustlan ^ ^ ^ said about the chair. I also called the police one time when a landlord did that. I’d done the chair thing, I was just out of the shower, someone was trying to get in so I called the cops. They came quick, the landlord was indignant but had no backing, and never did it again. I knew it was the landlord, but asking her not to do that hadn’t worked, so I figured drastic measures were called for.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@augustlan I doubt it. But both times, it was because he had a workman with him, and needed to let them in, so there’s just this strange man in my apartment I’ve never met with no warning whatsoever. I’m barely cool with men I know pretty well being in my apartment.

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