Can I sue my landlord for invasion of privacy and emotional distress, if he has entered my house on at least 3 occasions when I wasn’t home?

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Can I sue my landlord for invasion of privacy and emotional distress, if he has entered my house on at least 3 occasions when I wasn’t home?

On 2 occasions, I had suggested another time so I could be home. He came anyway. On the third occasion, I got out of bed one morning to find him standing in my kitchen! They never installed locks so I could lock myself in and them out. His wife admitted to going through my belongings when I wasn’t there because “it was her house”. My rent is and always has been paid. I don’t sleep well anymore; what sleep I get is bothered by nightmares of someone entering my home. I have severe anxiety. Would I go to small claims court to ask for damages for invasion of privacy and emotional distress?

Asked on June 22, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, one's landlord is entitled to access of the rental occupied by his or her tenant after reasonable notice is given to the tenant orally or in writing.

Typically 24 hours notice is demed reasonble notice. However, upon exigent circumstances such as a fire, the landlord can enter immediately.

I would have a face to face meeting with your landlord about what has happened and request proper notice for entry per code as well as the installation of dead bolts for safety reasons.

From what you have written about, you could sue your landlord in small claims court for damages including emotional distress. The problem I see is how do you set your damages based upon the facts you have written in terms of dollars and cents?


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