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Problems with the Landlord

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? WI

My boyfriend signed a lease with another person for an apartment in the middle of June. The lease was written for July. My boyfriend is all paid up, but the landlord insists that another $300 (half a month's rent) must be paid for June. However, my boyfriend does not feel obligated to pay the $300 because the lease did not begin until July. During June, the apartment was only entered once for cleaning, and was vacant until the beginning of July.

Not only does the landlord refuse to listen or negotiate matters with my boyfriend, but he breaks into the apartment whenever he feels like it, without permission. He has already broken in twice, from what I know. He has also called the cops, harassed me (I am occasionally in the apartment as guest), and threatened to throw everything outside and lock us out if he doesn't receive the money. When confronted about problems such as the stovetops not working, the electricity in the living room area completely dead, and the phone lines not working, he dismisses it as "not his problem".

Unfortunately, it looks like my boyfriend is facing eviction. How well will he stand in court? What should he do? Is he in the wrong/right?

try to find a local tenant's rights group of some kind.

If your BF has a lease stating that it began July 1, there's nothing the landlord can do about rent for the month of June.

As for the LL entering the property. What is stated in the lease? My lease says that I can enter the property "at any reasonable time to inspect or repair". From your description of situation it deosn't sound like he has any reason to be there, but if the lease allows him to enter it may be a harder point to get anywhere with. If you catch him in there I'd call the police, it's a place to start.

As for the stuff not working......again, what does the lease state regarding repairs, etc? It definitely sounds like the LL isn't doing a very good job (ok, let's face it -it sounds like the guy is off his rocker). This is where a tenant's rights group would be really good at advising you about what to do. Your BF can always take the LL to small claims court. If he has a lease and the LL is in violation of it there should be no question that your BF could get a judgement against him.

Best of luck,
Karla in Amarillo


this sounds like a toss-up. if your BF had the keys to the apartment, then the LL can argue that he had possession. your BF can argue that the LL gave him the keys early as a convenience to the LL, with the full knowledge that your BF was only going to enter to clean the apartment. the judge may not penalize your BF for the LL's stupidness. but then again, he may. like i said before, it's a toss-up.

however, your BF will definitely win if the LL has not served a 5 day pay-or-quit notice, per WI LL/T law. see http://wis-law.com/tenant704.html

also note that the LL may not enter the premises with prior WRITTEN notification, except in emergency situations. if the enters again, call the police to have him cited for trespassing.

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