What to do if my landlord had maintenance enter my apartment while I was out of town without notifying me?

There was no emergency. They painted and put sealant on the bathtub. I had cats in the apartment. I returned to find some of my property damaged, paint in my cats’ water and food bowls and on their food and paint on one of my cats. I also found the packaging for the sealant in my apartment that states that the fumes are very toxic and the apartment must be unoccupied and well ventilated while it was drying. There was only 1 window open about 1 inch after the sealant was applied. My cats were subjected to the funes while I was away. There is a fine layer of paint dust throughout my apartment now. I am moving out in a few days. What recourse do I have?

Asked on July 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, District of Columbia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written, your landlord may have violated state statute by not giving you at least 24 hours notice of his or her intent to enter the rental. The problem I see for you is that albeit you are irritated about the situation you have no actual measurable damages under the law in terms of dollars and cents.

I suggest that you may want to write your landlord a letter setting forth the irregularities that you discovered due to the entry and lack of clean up of your rental.

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