What Can Be Done About Tenant Harassing Landlord?
You always hear about those landlords harassing tenants. But you are not one of them. On the contrary—you’ve found yourself in the opposite situation. Even though it’s thought to be less common, the tenant-harassing-landlord situation can still turn into quite an issue. The good news is that there are ways to handle this problem and protect both your property and yourself.
The relationship between a landlord and a tenant is often somewhat intricate, and most landlords make peace with the fact that they can never find a perfect renter. But you need to know how to differentiate between those usual “imperfections” and nuisance and harassment.
How to Recognize Tenant Harassment?
The first step to take is to identify the problem, so you need to know what it means when someone is harassing you. When it comes to the tenant-landlord relationship, as a landlord, you can expect some of the following forms of harassment (or a combination of several of them)—your tenant:
- Refuses to pay rent
- Lies about having sent money for the rent by mail to avoid paying the rent
- Sends you threatening text messages or emails
- Makes threatening phone calls
- Disturbs other tenants, so you receive noise complaints all the time
- Damages your property and refuses to pay for the repair
- Damages other tenants’ properties
- Refuses to leave the rental when asked to do so
- Violates other tenants’ warranty of habitability
- Shows up at your home address
- Stalks you in person
- Starts cyberstalking you
- Assaults you or threatens to do so
What Can Be Done About Tenant Harassing Landlord?
Should you notice any of the previously listed signs of tenant harassment, you should take action against it right away. There are also some things that you might feel tempted to do, but you shouldn’t because they can backfire in the long run. Here are some crucial dos and don’ts to keep in mind when dealing with a harassing tenant:
Ask the tenant to stop contacting you
|Never threaten the abuser back|
|Save evidence of tenant’s harassing behavior|
Don’t change the locks while the tenant still resides in the property
Start the eviction process
|Never remove your tenant’s belongings from the property|
|Report the abuser to the police|
Don’t renew your tenant’s lease
How to Evict Your Tenant?
When your tenant refuses to stop harassing you, you shouldn’t hesitate to begin the eviction process to protect yourself. To do everything according to the law, you should take the following steps:
- Send your tenant a written notice—you need to send the Notice of Termination at least 30 days before the eviction day and include the reason for eviction
- Submit the Application to Terminate a Tenancy and Evict a Tenant with your local Landlord and Tenant Board
- Wait for the Board to set a date for the hearing and send the Notice of Hearing
- Deliver a copy of the Application and the Notice of Hearing to the tenant at least five or ten calendar days before the hearing is scheduled
- Fill out the Certificate of Service form and submit it to the Board to let them know that you’ve informed the tenant of the hearing
- If the Board allows the eviction, wait for the Eviction Order to be issued—this document will state when the tenant has to leave the property
Is It Possible to Make the Harassing Tenant Move Out Right Away?
In some cases, it is possible to make tenants leave the property without going through the eviction process. The most popular way to do this is the so-called “cash for keys” method—you pay your tenant a certain amount of money to leave your property without an eviction notice.
Report Your Tenant to the Police
If you believe that your safety is jeopardized and that your tenant might do something to hurt you, you should contact the police and ask for protection. Save the police report in case you eventually need to ask for a restraining order to keep your former tenant away.
How Can DoNotPay Stop a Tenant Harassing Landlord?
If nothing you do helps you end tenant harassment, do not hesitate to turn to DoNotPay for help. Our app can put you out of your misery in just a few simple steps. We understand that you’ve already been through so much, so we’ve created a straightforward solution. Here’s what you need to do:
- Sign in via the web browser or your iOS app
- Scroll down to Relationship Protection option
- Select Safety and Stalking
- Type in the name of your tenant (or any other harasser, for that matter)
- Wait for DoNotPay to generate a cease and desist letter. Send this document to the abuser, demanding an immediate stop of their harassing actions
The cease and desist letter serves two purposes: to make your tenant stop harassing you, as well as to be a piece of evidence if you take the matter to court. With a cease and desist letter as proof, you can show that you tried to solve the problem in question before taking it to court.
What If Your Tenant Starts Harassing You Online?
If your tenant starts harassing you online, DoNotPay can solve this type of harassment, too. Should this happen, you can leave it to our app to communicate with the representatives of the social media platform on which your tenant harassed you. We will report them and ask for their account and activity to go under investigation. To make sure you are fully protected, we can also ask the representatives to block the abuser so they cannot contact you.
How to Avoid Dealing With Another Harassing Tenant in the Future?
When you finally manage to put an end to tenant harassment, we assume that you’d like to learn how to avoid going through the same trouble again. While you can never be one hundred percent sure that there will be no unpleasant surprises, there are a few things you can do to at least reduce the risk, including the following:
- Run a thorough tenant background check (check their criminal background, eviction report, credit report, etc.)
- Contact the previous landlord and ask for a reference
- Provide every potential tenant with a written sample of rules regarding their responsibilities
- Take photos and videos to document in what condition the property was before the tenant moved in
- Don’t give your home address
Rely on DoNotPay in Other Problematic Situations
Your tenant might turn into a stalker, but you don’t know how to stop them. You might have a problem with sexual harassment or any other form of abuse. Whatever the case, we can protect you. That’s not all—there’s so much more you can use our app for, from problems with credit cards to overdue bills. DoNotPay is here to help you solve all kinds of everyday issues efficiently and completely free of charge.
Your part of the job is simple. You only need to create an account on DoNotPay and log in to it via your web browser or iOS app. Then you can choose from a wide range of services that we have to offer, including the following:
- Fighting speeding tickets
- Getting robocall compensation when scammers manage to trick you
- Preparing the paperwork if you’re suing someone in small claims court
- Disputing traffic tickets
- Scheduling DMV appointments faster than ever
- Skipping phone queues so you can get in touch with customer service faster
- Helping you lower and pay overdue bills
- Protecting you from any other form of harassment
- Dealing with your credit card-related issues
- Canceling all unused subscriptions and memberships
- Getting airline refunds if your flight gets canceled or delayed
- Contesting parking tickets