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I think my landlord is throwing me out

So my landlord is advertising my apt when my lease is not up until 12/31/13. He put a For Rent sign in the window. Out of curiosity, I had my mom call the number to inquire. Sure enough the sign is for my apt (it's a duplex so I thought 'well maybe it's the downstairs unit he's trying to rent'... obviously not) and get this, he's telling people it will be ready for new occupancy in 3 wks! This was a week ago. Can he put me out without any notice?? He and I do NOT have a good landlord/tenant relationship and I feel he's being spiteful. If I were to find another place to live, would I be subject to legal action against me since technically my lease isn't up until the end of the year?? HELP!
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October 01 2013 - Philadelphia
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Your landlord has to comply the with state laws for notice related to leases and eviction.  Here's a link to those of Pennsylvania.

Have you done something so that you can get evicted (such as not pay the rent, been very noisy, dealt drugs or many other actions)?

You, too, are held to the lease terms and yes, you could be held responsible for Oct - Dec rent.
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October 01 2013
Profile picture for user7038018
Thank you for the link! Unfortunately that is a 26 legal document and I don't understand much of what is being said. No, I have not done anything that would cause him to want to throw me out. I mind my own business, my rent is never late, no drugs. He is my downstairs neighbor. I think it annoys him when I call him and ask him to turn down his music (he is a self proclaimed "musician" and plays music throughout the night.) I think he has the attitude 'this is my place and I'll do what I want.' He has done things like shut off my water (he claims he heard it running in the middle of the night and thought there might have been a leak... BS.) He's also changed the lock to the front door without my awareness, leaving me stranded for one evening. I had to sleep on my mother's couch and be didn't return not ONE of my calls! I suppose he's not evicting me because he hasn't given me any notice. Is it legal for him to tell people the apartment will be ready in 3 wks when I'm still living there? Should I get an attorney?
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October 02 2013
Profile picture for sunnyview
I would call  Office of Consumer Protection for assistance at (814) 871-4371 or 1-800-441-2555 and tell them that you feel that your landlord is pursuing a constructive eviction even though your rent is paid. He is not allowed to turn off your water, lock you out, play loud music all night or harass you. All of those things are grounds for breaking the lease or suing for damages if you prove them in court.

Your best course of action is to document all his actions in writing with a return receipt letter or an email with a bcc back to yourself. Make sure to get written rent receipts from your landlord from this point. If he is loud, make a police report. If he changes your locks, make a police report.

This landlord is out of line, but you need to get legal advice to protect yourself. He cannot evict you without notice and he cannot take actions to "force" you to move without breaking the law.
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October 02 2013
Profile picture for user7038018
Thanks so much! I'll definitely look into it. Quick question: is it ok for my landlord's assistant to have signed my lease for him? She signed his name to it. Is that ok?
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October 02 2013
Profile picture for sunnyview
"is it ok for my landlord's assistant to have signed my lease for him?"

It is as long as she was authorized by him to sign it. Most courts in my area would say that it was ok and would enforce the lease that was signed by the landlord's "agent/office person".

I am not an attorney, but I know enough to know that you are at the point where you need to put everything in writing. Housing courts favor the side with written documentation/logs/photos. Make sure you start putting things in writing. In the meantime, get legal advice or contact legal aid who can recommend attorneys that take cases for reduced costs.

PS If you leave/move out at any point, take photos of EVERY surface in your unit including the inside of the toilet, stove and fridge. Landlords like this love to keep deposits even when you leave the unit clean and in good shape. Protect yourself.
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October 02 2013
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You are awesome! I am going to begin documenting right away because as I write this, I am listening to his "music." He and I typically communicate through texts. I texted him asking him to lower it... no response. But no biggie, because I now know exactly what to do. TY!
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October 02 2013
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Good luck! I'm rooting for you :)
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October 02 2013
If you have lease he has to serve you with written notice to vacate.  It might be posted on your door.  If you do not respond to that demand he has to take you to a Magistrate to either have you "pay up" or leave.  It costs him money to file before the Magistrate.

I understand you don't owe him anything.  This is really an unusual circumstance.  I'm just giving you the steps under normal circumstances.  I see no reason he can go to a Magistrate short of you owing his money or damaging his property.

In the case of past due rent he would get a judgement from the Magistrate and still have to give you time to get out.  Then if you do not get out he has to go back to the Magistrate again and pay to have the Sheriff evict you.

He can only get you out in three weeks if you acquiesce to his demands which as yet he has not made.

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October 02 2013
Profile picture for user7038018
Thank you very much! He has certainly not provided me with any written notice. Just an hour or so ago I visited my local precinct and filed a complaint. I'm getting my ducks in a row. Hopefully it doesn't come to legal action but if so, I'm preparing myself! Thanks again.
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October 02 2013
Profile picture for user7038018
I'm back, guys! Last night I filed a complaint against him and I informed him of this. Today I received a missed delivery slip from UPS. I'm almost positive that this is a termination of my lease. (I think this because a month ago he called me leaving me a VM stating that he was sending a termination of my lease and that I needed to find someplace else to stay... but he never did.) Is a lease termination letter the same as an eviction? Can I fight this? Does this show up on credit reports and/or background checks? I'm glad to leave now but I'm concerned that this is something that could hurt me in the long run.
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October 03 2013
Every location has specific steps that must be followed to terminate a lease and / or end a tenancy.  Specific guidance to you should be through a trusted attorney skilled in local real estate law.  However, I can tell you that as a landlord...everything starts and stops with communication.  Reading between the lines...it is time for a phone call to the landlord and a face to face meeting.  Obviously there are things you do not like and obviously there are things that your landlord does not like about the arrangement.  It always saves time and energy as well as money to be honest with each other and see if there is a way to work it out.  That makes it a win win situation and often the issues at stake are very minor and easily resolved.  Best of luck to you!
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October 03 2013
Profile picture for user7038018
Thank you so much! I appreciate your input, especially as a landlord yourself, however this guy is a few crayons short if you know what I mean. A lot of things that he does just isn't logical or responsible. Fortunately, I am meeting with him tomorrow. (He requested a meeting with me after I informed him of the police report... the irony.) I'll let you guys know how it goes. Thanks again, everyone!
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October 03 2013
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And also, as far as communication goes... there isn't much. He typically ignores my texts and often hangs up on me before we finish verbal conversations. Not professional in the least. Will text msgs count as documentation in court?
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October 03 2013
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Wow!  It looks like you are working hard to escalate the situation.

What was the charge you filed against your landlord?  

What does your attorney say?

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October 03 2013
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Really just working hard to rid my myself of this silly situation. It was just a noise complaint. And I do not have an attorney.
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October 03 2013
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UPDATE: I received this text this afternoon from my landlord.

"I going 2 hold u 2 the lease agreement, u have been disrespectful.  We want to start showing the apt. Started  Next week at time u are not home! Once we selected a tenant we will let u know & hopefully it is before your lease expires!"

I can't name a time where I have been disrespectful. HE hangs up on ME. HE blasts his music, waking ME out of my sleep. Maybe he doesn't like my requests but such is life and that doesn't make me disrespectful. Can I object if I'm uncomfortable with him showing the place while I am not there? And truthfully, does anyone think I stand a chance in court if I were to take him and attempt to get out of the lease with all of the foolishness he has done? (Locking me out, shutting off water, but most annoyingly... MUSIC! I thought I was entitled to "quiet enjoyment.") HELP (again!)
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October 04 2013
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The way my landlord is going... this thread my never end. The music resumed tonight with a vengeance. Last night I did nothing about it, since I was exhausted! I work and go to school FT, I don't have the time for foolishness. Well, tonight I wasn't doing it. I called the police. When they arrived he got to the door before I could. I came down and let them know everything that had been going on... and THAT is when everything came to a head! My landlord began cursing and screaming at me. He then slams the door in our faces. I file he police report and then he comes back and says "get the hell out of my property, you dyke!" (Yes, I am gay, no I am not a dyke!) He slams his door again. Stunned, I opened his door and we begin a screaming match. One of the officers grab and me orders me to return to my apt. THIS is officially out of hand! How could one be so cruel even in the face of the law? It's evident that he does not care and I cannot say that I feel safe here any longer. I'm seriously considering moving in with my mom and finding another place from there. I have no idea what spiteful, vindictive stuff he may try to pull. This is a nightmare that I just can't seem to escape!
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October 08 2013
Profile picture for wetdawgs
"Can I object if I'm uncomfortable with him showing the place while I am not there?" He has given you the notice as required by law for non-emergency access.

You are doing a great job escalating the conflict with police report after police report and getting into shouting matches.   I don't see one innocent person and one guilty person from your own description of the situation.

 "Stunned, I opened his door and we begin a screaming match."   You what? really!???!?!  HOLY cow!   Glad the officer grabbed you and sent you back to your apartment.   I sit on the edge of my chair in astonishment at your expectations for effective resolution of the situation so you can handle the end of your lease.

Shutting off the water and locking you out are issues you could pursue with the numbers provided by Sunnyview.  "Quiet enjoyment" does not mean that your apartment needs to be dead silent all the time, so may be harder to pursue.

I certainly recognize that the music can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, but you have many choices on how you can handle it.  (Ear plugs can work wonders!) Frankly, some of your choices have not been good choices and are doing a superb job of escalating conflict rather than calming conflict.  I suspect you've made him crank up the music yet another notch tonight.

 

  
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October 08 2013
Profile picture for user7038018
I'm not at all concerned with whether or not I am "escalating the conflict." I shouldn't be subjected to such a poor one. I will continue to file reports as long as he continues to deny me quiet enjoyment. I don't expect to have dead silence, I have a neighbor and he has a life but he is being flat out careless, which I suppose is to purposely aggravate me but oh well. The police will be called continuously. I am not going to take his BS simply because he's the landlord. That's not fair to me and if I don't defend myself, who will?
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October 08 2013
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Okay, you can do what you want but so far you've described some very foolish choices IMHO and I can see why he may consider you disrespectful. There are two sides to every story.

Good luck with your life.
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October 08 2013
 
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