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Re: [vox] [OT] renters question - "snooping" landlord
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Re: [vox] [OT] renters question - "snooping" landlord

On Monday 07 April 2003 01:51 pm, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> rhonda and i rent a house.
> a few months ago we came home and some stranger was walking down the
> alley that runs along the side of our house, carrying a ladder.  i asked
> who he was and he said he was the owner of the house.  apparently, the
> price quotes he got to clear the roof of leaves was too expensive for
> him, so he decided to clear the leaves himself.   i really didn't like
> him in our backyard unannounced, but i didn't say anything.
> on sunday (6 apr) we found the owner on top of our roof, cutting
> branches off a tree that was getting too large.  he was throwing the cut
> branches on the ground, and some of them inadvertently hit my car.  no
> damage, though.  just a mess (which he cleaned up after i complained).
> today (7 apr) i came home from school and he was here again, doing
> something in my yard.
> frankly, i don't exactly mind him doing work on the house, but i
> absolutely HATE the fact that anybody is here without my knowledge.
> it's unsettling.  i trust his intentions, but i feel like i deserve some
> kind of phone call or asked if "it's ok" to have him work on the house.
> i recall there's some kind of law that protects renters from snooping
> real estate owners.  not that the guy is snooping.  i just really want
> him to notify me when he'll be here.
> is anyone familiar on what the law says about this?  is he allowed to go
> into our backyard unannounced?   on our roof?   in our front yard?
> i wouldn't make a big deal about it, but...
> i believe he might have screwed up our phone while on the roof cutting
> branches.  our phone has an incredible amount of intermittent static.
> i'm reluctant to call the phone company.  on one hand, we never had this
> problem before.  on the other hand, if the phone company doesn't find a
> problem, they penalize you with a $50 fine if the problem exists between
> the cable pair and your phone.   i'm not sure what to do.  i feel like i
> shouldn't even have had to worry about this since he shouldn't have been
> on our roof in the first place.  i can't afford the $50 right now.
> pete

I would call your landlord or management company, and explain your feelings 
and ask them to give you notice when the landlord(or anyone authorized by the 
landlord) enters the area.  Its always a good idea to just make a friendly 
call and be nice.  As for the phone, there are inexpensive testers you can 
"rent" from fry's that will test your line integrity.  I don't know off hand 
what to get(I had a friend last year that did some recabling and thought he 
snipped a phone line), but I do know such beasties exists.  You could also 
ask mention to your landlord that your phone isn't working well after he did 
his thing, and that if the phone company doesn't find anything, could he 
either foot the 50$ repair bill, or at least share it.  As for the law, it 
states that the landlord must give 24 hr notice before entering.  That is the 
very least amount of time allowed(some leases MAY require more time) and 
normally that is for entering the actual residence, ie a place where you have 
an expectation of privacy.  As for outside the house, I have no idea, but in 
my experience what has happened to you is very common.  Again, if it makes 
you feel uncomfortable, give your landlord a call, and explain the situation, 
and ask him to give you latitude.  That has almost always worked in my 
experience, and is definitely worth a shot.  However, if it really makes you 
feel uncomfortable, contact an attorney, or hell, you're in school, I'd be 
willing to bet that UCD has some sort of department that handles questions of 
this nature, and will explain what rights you have.  I know that OSU did....


Mike Wenk	
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