hostile living environment, tenant options

This is a discussion on hostile living environment, tenant options within the Landlord vs Tenant Issues forum, part of the REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY LAW category; my fiance and i are renting a basement in maryland and are having an issue with one of the owners ...

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Old Sep 10th, 2011, 12:24 AM   #1
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Default hostile living environment, tenant options

my fiance and i are renting a basement in maryland and are having an issue with one of the owners adult children upstairs. he apparently has some severe mental issues and has a drug and drinking problem. we've had to call an ambulance for him once ourselves and he has gone to the hospital at least 2 other times that we're aware of. i have severe anxiety issues so my interaction is extremely limited but my fiance knows them well enough by now. so at 3 in the morning yesterday, he comes downstairs to the area we rent and tries to come into our room. he's done this before and has actually walked into our room when we have left it unlocked. we changed the handle to a key lock so we are more secure. he's never shown any aggression, but he is obnoxious when he drinks. add alcohol to mental instability and its a recipe for disaster. anyway, my fiance opens the door to find out what is going on and this guy is completely wasted, going thru our fridge and our food, laughing in my fiances face and being rude and belligerent. my fiance tells this guy to stop trying to come into our room, and to get out of our fridge. the guy walks over to him and my fiance tells him to stop, he can't come into our room since i am half dressed and its very rude and disrespectful. the guy tries to push his way past my fiance demanding that he let him see me and laughing in his face. it is to the point now that the family is well aware of our concerns and my fear and anxiety regarding this violation of personal safety. we did not sign a lease here, and from my understanding it falls under the 30 day/month to month. we do not feel safe here. we have nowhere else to go, no money to move. we all want him to get help, the family is trying to get him to a hospital for treatment and he is refusing. i don't know what else to do. we decided not to file charges, to try working with the family first, but if he tries this again, i don't know what will happen. please, please help. our sanity cannot last long under these circumstances.
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Old Sep 10th, 2011, 02:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: hostile living environment, tenant options

I wish to inform you that you may give a notice in writing that owners adult children are violating your rights and thus violating conditions of your lease agreement. There is an implied condition that the person can use the premises but if acts of landlord are such that you cannot use premises then landlord can be held liable. A landlord may visit at normal times if he is having some work but his adult children cannot come at odd time and disturb you. If still your landlord does not stop his child's activities then you may terminate lease. Alternatively you may give a month to month leave termination notice and can leave the premises.

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Old Sep 10th, 2011, 05:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by marylandgirl77 View Post
my fiance and i are renting a basement in maryland and are having an issue with one of the owners adult children upstairs. he apparently has some severe mental issues and has a drug and drinking problem. we've had to call an ambulance for him once ourselves and he has gone to the hospital at least 2 other times that we're aware of. i have severe anxiety issues so my interaction is extremely limited but my fiance knows them well enough by now. so at 3 in the morning yesterday, he comes downstairs to the area we rent and tries to come into our room. he's done this before and has actually walked into our room when we have left it unlocked. we changed the handle to a key lock so we are more secure. he's never shown any aggression, but he is obnoxious when he drinks. add alcohol to mental instability and its a recipe for disaster. anyway, my fiance opens the door to find out what is going on and this guy is completely wasted, going thru our fridge and our food, laughing in my fiances face and being rude and belligerent. my fiance tells this guy to stop trying to come into our room, and to get out of our fridge. the guy walks over to him and my fiance tells him to stop, he can't come into our room since i am half dressed and its very rude and disrespectful. the guy tries to push his way past my fiance demanding that he let him see me and laughing in his face. it is to the point now that the family is well aware of our concerns and my fear and anxiety regarding this violation of personal safety. we did not sign a lease here, and from my understanding it falls under the 30 day/month to month. we do not feel safe here. we have nowhere else to go, no money to move. we all want him to get help, the family is trying to get him to a hospital for treatment and he is refusing. i don't know what else to do. we decided not to file charges, to try working with the family first, but if he tries this again, i don't know what will happen. please, please help. our sanity cannot last long under these circumstances.
You may need to get a restraining order against this trespassing drunk. So that any time he violates the order, you can call the police and have him picked up. Eventually, they will jail him.

I am sure it is clear to you that you will have to move for if this adult 'child' is living on the premises, blood being thicker than water and adult child more important than any tenant, he will remain. You might seek advice from an attorney to see if you have grounds to have the landlord pay your relocation expenses. That would solve the problem of moving before you had planned as a direct result of his son's harassment and invasion of your privacy.
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Old Sep 10th, 2011, 05:47 PM   #4
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You can't reason with crazy. You can't reason with drunk either.

His parents will never kick him out. They will probably never put him in any kind of a placement either if all it takes is him to refuse placement.

They could commit him, but eventually, even perhaps after a 24 hour observation period, he'd be out and pissed off at his parents.

The only thing you can do right now is to LEAVE YOUR DOOR LOCKED and DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR if someone knocks. Do NOT carry on a conversation with the door between you.

Let the LL know that you will be doing this (locking the door), so if they have to come to your door, they should identify themselves otherwise you are screening out their son and refusing to answer or speak to anyone else in the household.

You may wish to discuss with the LL that you do not feel safe, and if this happens again (forceable entry? refusal to leave when your husband told him he was trespassing and told him to leave?), you will call the police and press charges so perhaps he can get the help he needs.

A "knock" at 3 in the morning would merit a call to the police as I know I'd be certain someone was trying to break in by rattling about and trying to force the doorknob. If I was half or full asleep, that rattling in an attempt to get in would sure sound like a knock to me until I thought about it more.

You may want to add that if they'd rather NOT have you in the position where you will call the police and have their son arrested, you'd consider moving out but cannot afford to do so...leave it at that and let them conclude that if they give you money to move out, you'll be gone and their precious drug and booze addled mentally ill child will be safe from jail and all who would think he's a pretty pretty cellmate.
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