Hi, Pearl. My...
Hi, Pearl. My son is 19 and rents a room in a house. His 6 month lease began on November 1st. The lease covers a dedicated parking space in the home's driveway, allows for his girlfriend (named in the lease) to be a guest without breaching the agreement, etc. There is a second renter, an exchange student from China who apparently pays much more and the owner now wants to remove my son and replace him with a higher rate tenant. For the past several weeks the homeowner has harassed my son when he's home and when he's at work. The homeowner, since Christmas, has made several unilateral changes to the lease and sent threatening texts to my son. For example, no guests, no driveway parking (specifically listed in the lease agreement), one shower per day for 5 minutes, one load of laundry once a week and only on Sunday, etc. Last night my son worked 3rd shift and during that time he received a text stating that he is to clean the house today and move his car from the street because it's blocking trash. At the same time he also provided a NOTICE TO QUIT AND EVACUATE stating that he's not following household rules (that were never provided or part of the lease). It provides him 3 days to vacate (note he's working 60 hour weeks and a college student) and no refund of payment. He has already paid for all of January and does not have an alternate residence. I'm out of state and know that the landlord/homeowner is not only breaking the lease agreement, but he's putting my son in harm's way, interferes with his daily peace and enjoyment of life, constantly harasses him and corners him in the home. This is out of hand. I had my son visit the local police a week ago and, of course, they told him this is a civil matter. Help?
Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?
I can't be sure. This man is controlling, lies and is just a terrible person. The Notice to Quit and Vacate is signed by the landlord and dated today, but not stamped by the court, a notary. Nothing. He constantly threatens my son.
Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Yes, there are many other examples of harassment and I would need to work with my son to create a timeline and proper list. My son is barely home, does not bother anyone and just wants the landlord to honor the lease. But I can say that he's NOT safe there. At this point my son will absolutely have damages. In my opinion, his damages are: loss of 22 days rent ($355); loss of peaceful living conditions; mental and emotional stress; harassment; loss of income while he searches for a new home, moves and is forced to take time off work for all of this; loss from landlord terminating the lease agreement 7 months early and causing him to pay significantly higher move in fees and rent to get a new residence secured; and likely more losses. This is a very bad situation and this 40 year old man is taking advantage of my 19 year old son. He's bullying him, sending him harassing texts throughout his work shifts, cornering him in the home for hours at a time and the landlord has attempted to modify the lease with completely unreasonable living terms several times since Christmas.