The Obnoxious Landlord

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Occasionally, a particular landlord can get pretty obnoxious. This is also true of plumbers, physics teachers, and hair stylists, but because this chapter is about landlord-tenant disputes, we will concentrate on these folks.

Typically, tenants have problems with landlords who cannot stop fidgeting and fussing over their property. Smaller landlords tend to develop this problem to a greater extent than do the larger, more commercial ones. Nosy landlords are always hanging around or coming by, trying to invite themselves in to look around and generally being pests. In addition, a tenant may also run into a manager or owner who sexually harasses tenants or is on a power trip.

A landlord or manager who is difficult or unpleasant to deal with can make a tenant's life miserable. There are no laws that protect a tenant from a landlord's disagreeable personality, and when tenants have no lease, they are especially unprotected from all but the most outrageous invasions of privacy, sexual harassment, or trespass (discussed just below). However, if the landlord or manager's conduct is truly obnoxious, courts in some states recognize that tenants have a right to sue for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. (See Chapter 4 for advice on determining the dollar amount of a suit for emotional or mental distress.)

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