I have a landlord that makes surprise visits to my apartment "for repairs" and also gives short notice (24 hours) when annual inspections come around. I also have a irritating issue with a replacement of a 10+ year old stove that was not in the best condition when I moved in and the landlord refuses to replace it emphasizing that it is my responsibility to "clean it better" as if the condition of the stove is my fault. How do I work with this landlord not to take advantage of me and assert myself without retaliation of eviction
( tenant at will) or be perceived as a problem tenant?
If you are a tenant at will, I'm assuming that you don't have any kind of written lease or rental agreement. Without a written agreement that gives a landlord a right to enter and make repairs, the landlord does not have any right to enter the apartment without permission with only 3 exceptions:
1. A court order,
2. You appear to have abandoned the property, or
3. After you or he have given notice to end the tenancy to do a security deposit inspection
If you think that the stove is not in good condition, you can ask that the health department do an inspection. If they find issues you can withhold rent until they are fixed or use up to three months rent to fix them yourself and deduct it from your rent. Once you report the issue to the health department the landlord cannot evict you for 6 months without cause. Doing so is retaliatory and illegal. If you do these things you most likely will be considered a "problem tenant" but you shouldn't let that deter you from asserting your legal rights.
I am a Massachusetts attorney and answer questions based on Massachusetts law. The above answer is for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney client relationship or constitute legal advice.
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