What to do if I’m renting a room and my landlord has continuously entered my without my permission or prior notice?

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What to do if I’m renting a room and my landlord has continuously entered my without my permission or prior notice?

.My evidence is a text he sent me saying he had an “A/C man came” and pictures of my room. He also stated that I needed to be out by the end of the month. Which is less than 7 days. I also have a recording of him coming into my room and going through my things. What can I do? Should I call the police?

Asked on May 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Landlords may enter without permission, but with reaonable notice (usually held to be at least 24 hours notice) for maintenance, inspections, or to show the premises to prospective buyers or renters; or they enter without notice for emergencies (smoke, fire, gas, major water leak, etc.) If they enter otherwise, they are violating the law; and even when they can enter lawfully, they have no right to "go through" their tenant's belongings. You probably should file a police report, in case, you later discover the landlord has stolen anything, engages in stalking or harassing behavior, uses your identify (such as by having found and used your SSN, a bank account number, a credit card number), etc.

(Note: you may also want to check to see if the landlord has left any cameras or recording devices behind.)

Also, if you had a written lease, you may only be evicted at its expiration, for nonpayment, or for violating material (important) terms of the lease. (Or for certain other, obvious, bad acts--for example, threatening or attacking the landlord, deliberately damaging his property, etc.) If you did not have a written lease, you can have your tenancy ended on 30 days notice--but it is 30 days notice, not seven. If the landlord tries to evict you on 7 days notice without some valid cause, like your failure to pay rent, he has committed illegal eviction and you could potentially sue for damages and/or for reinstatement in the premises.


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