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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing! Jesus H Christ's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 01:21 AM
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    Default Landlord/Tenant Help

    I need some advice

    I have rented an apartment for the last two years, the lease expires in March.... I purchased a small house in November, and told the landlord that I would be moving. I assured her that I was not breaking the lease, and that I would pay rent on the apartment for the remainder of the lease. I moved out of the apartment Dec. 1st, and made my regular rent payment on Dec. 15. Today when I went to retrieve some cleaning supplies I had there the locks had been changed, and the garage door openers had been disabled. I called her and told her I was uncomfortable paying rent on a space too which I had no working key. She told me I could not have a key, but could get access anytime by giving her a call. The rent is current....can she do this? Is she breaking the law, or did she break the lease, releasing me from the obligation of paying further rent?
    Last edited by Jesus H Christ; 01.09.11 at 03:51 PM.
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  2. #2
    Hang 'Em High
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    12.10.17 @ 08:06 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus H Christ View Post
    I need some advice

    I have rented an apartment for the last two years, the lease expires in March.... I purchased a small house in November, and told the landlord that I would be moving. I assured her that I was not breaking the lease, and that I would pay rent on the apartment for the remainder of the lease. I moved out of the apartment Dec. 1st, and made my regular rent payment on Dec. 15. Today when I went to retrieve some cleaning supplies I had there the locks had been changed, and the garage door openers had been disabled. I called her and told her I was uncomfortable paying rent on a space too which I had no working key. She told me I could not have a key, but could get access anytime by giving her a call. The rent is current....can she do this? Is she breaking the law, or did she break the lease, releasing me from the obligation of paying further rent?
    If I am not mistaken she has no legal right to deny you access when the lease is still current and you are making rent payments. check into it, but your lease is a residency agreement and so long as you are paying you should have 24/7 access.

  3. #3
    PM Goo with your concerns OLO's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 01:36 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ain't Talkin' Bout' Love View Post
    If I am not mistaken she has no legal right to deny you access when the lease is still current and you are making rent payments. check into it, but your lease is a residency agreement and so long as you are paying you should have 24/7 access.
    I agree with this but you should check the local laws.
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  4. #4
    Eruption Yerfdog's Avatar
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    11.06.14 @ 05:13 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus H Christ View Post
    I need some advice

    I have rented an apartment for the last two years, the lease expires in March.... I purchased a small house in November, and told the landlord that I would be moving. I assured her that I was not breaking the lease, and that I would pay rent on the apartment for the remainder of the lease. I moved out of the apartment Dec. 1st, and made my regular rent payment on Dec. 15. Today when I went to retrieve some cleaning supplies I had there the locks had been changed, and the garage door openers had been disabled. I called her and told her I was uncomfortable paying rent on a space too which I had no working key. She told me I could not have a key, but could get access anytime by giving her a call. The rent is current....can she do this? Is she breaking the law, or did she break the lease, releasing me from the obligation of paying further rent?
    If she changed the locks and (presumably) the code for the garage door openers, she is essentially breaking the lease agreement. I would contact an attorney, but you should easily be able to get out of the lease now.
    I swear, it's like I'm playin' cards with my brother's kids or somethin'. You nerve-wrackin' sons-a-bitches.

  5. #5
    Eruption EVHWolf's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 08:17 AM
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    She is at fault. If you are paying rent, it is still yours. For all you know she could have rented I again and is collecting two rental incomes. I don't believe she is breaking the lease, but she doesn't have a right to change the locks as long as you pay. I'd call the police or at least write her a letter informing her that you are no longer going to pay and demand your security deposit back.

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  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing! Jesus H Christ's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 01:21 AM
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    Thanks guys....I just sent her an email.
    "The less I needed, the better I felt." ~ Charles Bukowski.

  7. #7
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 09:34 AM
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    Default

    What you have is something called "Constructive Eviction" which usually means cutting off utilities or changing locks or removing property without a writ of restitution and it gets landlords in hot water...also applies to those little tricks where a landlord tries to drive away a tenant

    consult an attorney

    however some leases call for the locks to be changed upon the tenant vacating the premises because landlords are having problems with squatters....but to do it when you have paid and do not have an understanding that you have vacated should still fall under constructive eviction

    you should be off the hook for the rest of the lease and could perhaps collect damages

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    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  8. #8
    Summer Nights in Cabo SNIC's Avatar
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    10.19.17 @ 06:44 PM
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    You pay the rent, so you should be able to have a key. Like DH says, check into it to be sure.

    Careful, you don't want it to turn into this type relationship:



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  9. #9
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 11:13 AM
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    Read your lease before you do anything. Maybe there's a vacancy clause in there where you are specifying that this is your primary residence. I could envision a landlord putting something in there to prevent subletting, or a vacant premises, etc. Once you moved out...

    Hell, I don't even know if that would be a legally defensible clause. But I'd check your lease.

  10. #10
    Sinner's Swing!
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    11.25.17 @ 09:06 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Yerfdog View Post
    If she changed the locks and (presumably) the code for the garage door openers, she is essentially breaking the lease agreement. I would contact an attorney, but you should easily be able to get out of the lease now.
    USE YOUR TENANCY BOARD! That's what they're for.
    If you still had time on your lease and gave full intention of paying out the remainder of your lease IN WRITING, then she had no legal right to change the locks on you. This is where things can get sticky. Every transaction or intention of payment has to be in writing regardless of your perceived relationship or standing with the landlord. If you only made this verbal, then there is room for her to change the locks and code because she could say to the tenancy board, or whatever authority you use, to say she had suspicions that you may not pay, and changed the locks for security concerns for the building, or existing/new tenants.

    I have been a landlord (a fair one and would never do this unless the tenant blatantly caused a severe concern) as well as a tenant.
    Before shelling out money for an attorney, just google your State, city, and "tenancy laws". Each state, or province has their own interpretations, and enforce segments of the law harsher than others, so do this and once you get to the governance site, do some searches, and print out what pertains to your situation.
    Next scan or make a copy of your lease. Make a call to the tenancy office personally, and state your case.
    They will provide you with options you can take.
    You won't need an attorney, as if the option they suggest is to persue withholding further rent, then they will give you a case number, and it will go to arbitration. They will ask for you to send them copies of all your correspondence with her including your rental/lease agreement, receipts, notes and letters.
    As long as you have all your ducks in a row, make copies, and organize a folder including written accounts of your verbal correspondence with her, you will come out rosy.
    It sounds intensive, but it's not. A typical arbitration hearing usually lasts from a half hour to an hour, and actually nowadays is often handled via 3 way phone call. Decisions are usually made withing the month of the hearing. THIS RULING IS BINDING so keep that in mind.

    Hope this helps.
    JJ
    Last edited by we die young; 01.10.11 at 06:30 AM.

  11. #11
    Top Of The World MackieMan's Avatar
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    05.31.12 @ 11:07 AM
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    The fact that she changed the locks and the garage code on you is weird. When I have moved from a place, it was always understood that I paid for the rent/lease until that last day, and returned the keys at that time. Never was I locked out, but private landlords I have found tend to be strangest when it comes to vacating. I had one landlord almost refuse to fix the refrigerator which died a month prior to me leaving, because I was planning to leave. I had another landlord who thought my security deposit was a renovation fund for them to fix the place up for the next potential renter. People act weird when it comes to losing that income.

    Now whether this needs to escalate immediately to an attorney or police is another story. I would simply ask to meet with the landlord, and state that you agreed to continue paying rent to the end of the lease, and regardless of whether you are living there or not, paying rent entitles you to access to the facilities to the end of that lease period. If you are not given access...and the whole "call them to get access" scenario is not acceptable (what happens when you need access and can't get in touch with them...I had a landlord who did this with the basement of the house, where all the circuit breakers were...circuit popped, and the landlord that weekend was at her house in Maine, two states away...exactly how was I supposed to get her to turn my power back on?). I would think this would be a conversation that could release you early from your lease, and do make sure you get your security deposit back in full. One side note, had a landlord, the one that was holding my security deposit for renovations...had to threaten them with legal action, and found out that they never provided me with information on where that security deposit was sitting in escrow. Turns out it wasn't, rather it was just in their personal bank account. By law, they had to refund that security deposit. Rules usually favor the landlord, but there are some you can use for your side of things.

    Anyhow, no access while you are actively paying rent, regardless of whether you are physically there, either she gives you access and you continue paying rent, or she gives you notice to remove the rest of your stuff, and you stop paying rent. A reasonable person should be able to come to a sensible arrangement, and if not, then consult a lawyer or proper authorities to get your stuff out of there.

  12. #12
    Good Enough The J Man's Avatar
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    06.13.16 @ 04:44 PM
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    I don't mean to sidetrack this, but I finally got my situation taken care of. I included a letter with my December rent indicating that if my washing machine was not replaced before the January rent payment, I'd be withholding rent. Days later I heard from my landlord saying he purchased a new unit and apologized for the delay. Yeah, yeah, sorry my ass...

    Anyway, I hope your situation gets resolved soon without any entanglements.

  13. #13
    Eruption
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    05.26.17 @ 11:48 PM
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    I find it hard to believe you can be denied access to property you are renting.

    The owner is going out on a limb here.

    I wouldn't even bother checking the laws first. Just call her up. State that you are paying rent and need the new keys and codes and will surrender them at the end of the lease.

    If she tells you no again, then I'd politely ask her on what legal basis is she withholding access (24x7) to property that you are renting. So if you want to go in there every night at 3:30AM, you have every right to do so and she should open the place each time for you?

    I'm 90% sure you'll get the keys and codes after that....but if not then nicely state you are going to withhold rent until she does. Is she hates you or wants you out of there, then you just saved yourself those rent payments.

    I bet her reasons are more benign though -- she just probably feels protective over the property and jumped the gun on changing the locks and codes.

    Worst case you go to court and if there is some crazy law stating you should have kept paying her, then you just fork it over.

  14. #14
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    12.14.17 @ 01:07 PM
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    "So you start walking over to her house
    and you get over to her house
    and you walk over to her door and
    you start poundin on her door and you say
    "Open up the door bitch!?
    This is woofah goofah with the green teeth, 'n let me in!!""

  15. #15
    Eruption Naked Wake's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 12:57 PM
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    if she did this and you moved out, why not just stop paying?

 

 

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