What to do if a realtor enters a tenant’s home unannounced?

After returning early from vacation, and as I slept on the couch in my tee-shirt and underwear, I woke to find a strange man in my rented home with a group of people. I panicked and cried out, grabbing my phone and skirt, and felt like I was having a heart attack. Turns out, the man was a realtor, showing the house for the head honcho realtor, who told him he could show the house this morning. Head honcho realtor lied, saying he’d left 2 messages regarding showing but y phone provider assures me 100% that there were no calls. What is my recourse; who can I contact? The police say it’s a civil matter.

Asked on July 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If it's a one time event and you did not suffer any actual injury (e.g. you did not have a heart attack) or other loss (e.g. nothing was stolen or broken), there is effectively no recourse. That is because the law only provides compensation for actual injury, damage, or loss. A single incident is not enough to qualify as violation of your right to possession of the premises; therefore, if there was no other injury or loss from this event, there is no recourse available to you.

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