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Silent inspection

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Recently we had a series of events that we subsequently found to be highly suspect. Our lease is up soon so our landlords asked us if we'd show the house for them.
- We first showed a couple and afterward the landlord said they were taking it and wanted to make final plans for walkthru etc.
- About a week later, they said another potential candidate that was 'friends with the neighbors' wanted to see the house. We showed it to them. They seemed more interested in flipping the house. Asked us more pointed questions - does the sump pump run all spring long when it's wet, do you ever park in the garage. They also looked at several things with the flashlights on their i-phone.
- Lastly, a few days after that, the handyman came over while we were not there to do maintenance on a cpl items. We had been expecting him in the near future, the visit itself was not unexpected.

A few days after that, we receive a stern email of a nature we were not expecting. He said they had gotten feedback from the potential tenants and their handyman and they are not pleased at the condition of their house and this may mean they'll use our security deposit.
Some of these complaints were legitimate but others were blown out of proportion and even one was a know issue he saw from 6 months prior and didn't have any problem with at the time.

We suspect that one or more of these visits were inspections where information was being collected without our knowledge. We know this kind of thing would be difficult to prove but we'd like to know what the law is.

Thanks!!
 


Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Recently we had a series of events that we subsequently found to be highly suspect. Our lease is up soon so our landlords asked us if we'd show the house for them.
- We first showed a couple and afterward the landlord said they were taking it and wanted to make final plans for walkthru etc.
- About a week later, they said another potential candidate that was 'friends with the neighbors' wanted to see the house. We showed it to them. They seemed more interested in flipping the house. Asked us more pointed questions - does the sump pump run all spring long when it's wet, do you ever park in the garage. They also looked at several things with the flashlights on their i-phone.
- Lastly, a few days after that, the handyman came over while we were not there to do maintenance on a cpl items. We had been expecting him in the near future, the visit itself was not unexpected.

A few days after that, we receive a stern email of a nature we were not expecting. He said they had gotten feedback from the potential tenants and their handyman and they are not pleased at the condition of their house and this may mean they'll use our security deposit.
Some of these complaints were legitimate but others were blown out of proportion and even one was a know issue he saw from 6 months prior and didn't have any problem with at the time.

We suspect that one or more of these visits were inspections where information was being collected without our knowledge. We know this kind of thing would be difficult to prove but we'd like to know what the law is.

Thanks!!
The law where? In Sri Lanka? France? Japan?

(You were asked for the name of your state, but deleted the question.)

Beyond that, the law about what? Somebody not liking how you keep your house when you willingly show it to them?
 
I had made an earlier post but lost the text so re-wrote it w/o the state. We live in the state of Maine.

My question is - is a landlord allowed to have someone inspect the house of their behalf without us knowing about it. As I mentioned, after these few visits he said he got some feedback etc about the house from potential tenants and the handyman.
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
is a landlord allowed to have someone inspect the house of their behalf without us knowing about it.
Yes.

What's the difference between an inspection and a showing? You allowed the landlord and others access. You were OK with the handyman. Whatever anybody saw and reported to the landlord is fair game.

this may mean they'll use our security deposit.
Read the security deposit statute:


If he fails to comply with the statute and/or wrongly withholds any of your deposit you get to sue him in small claims court.
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
I had made an earlier post but lost the text so re-wrote it w/o the state. We live in the state of Maine.

My question is - is a landlord allowed to have someone inspect the house of their behalf without us knowing about it. As I mentioned, after these few visits he said he got some feedback etc about the house from potential tenants and the handyman.
There was nothing illegal done.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
I had made an earlier post but lost the text so re-wrote it w/o the state. We live in the state of Maine.

My question is - is a landlord allowed to have someone inspect the house of their behalf without us knowing about it. As I mentioned, after these few visits he said he got some feedback etc about the house from potential tenants and the handyman.
If someone is thinking about buying a house (you said the couple were looking to flip it) then it is typical to have someone inspect the house for problems/issues. It is also typical to ask the seller (in this case your landlord) to fix the problems found. Clearly the landlord was not prepared for that and had a somewhat knee jerk reaction.

Make sure that when you move out you fix whatever you can fix that is your fault, and that you leave the house extremely clean, and that you take tons of pictures to prove how you left the house.
 
Thank you folks, this has been extremely helpful. It raises other questions for me but I will ask them in another thread.
 
Very well. I have reviewed the statute adjusterjack linked for me. In the treatment of security deposit section:


It says the landlord must deposit in an account that is beyond the claim of creditors etc. How can I request evidence of this? Is it as simple as asking the landlord for a copy of the bank statement my deposit is in? What kind of turnaround can I expect from such a request? I've reviewed the section it and can't seem to find those details.
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
How can I request evidence of this?
Write him a letter, send it by mail, with tracking and just a delivery confirmation. But not certified as people tend to duck certified mail as trouble.

What kind of turnaround can I expect from such a request?
Doesn't really matter. If you don't get a response by the time you move out and he messes with your security deposit, you add the $500 to your lawsuit. :)
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Doesn't really matter. If you don't get a response by the time you move out and he messes with your security deposit, you add the $500 to your lawsuit. :)
Actually, the OP can seek 1 month's rent, assuming that is greater than $500.
 
#2 definitely does not, it's a single family house. I don't know about #1. I do know that they came into a large sum of money and wanted to buy a new house but the bank wouldn't give them a loan unless they had a tenant in their current one, which is the one we are renting.
 
So this saga continues for us. Our landlord said he would be out 'in the next week or two to check things out'. Is that vague of a time frame considered adequate notice? About 10 days after that, we were doing some cleaning and found a pair of car keys that do not belong to us. The happenstance for this seems pretty narrow. So our first thoughts turned to him showing up without us knowing.
 
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