I Go Out Of Town, Landlord Crashes In My Bedroom

Z picked up and moved to a new city for work, and rented a room in a three-bedroom house with an out-of-town landlord. He found the rental on Craigslist. Not his dream home, but not so bad either. Until he came home from a conference and found that the landlord came to visit, and stayed in the house. With all three bedrooms rented out, where did she crash? Z’s room, of course, which she also rummaged through and rearranged the furniture.



So I move to a new area because of my job and start looking for housing. I find a shared housing situation on craigslist and speak to the owner for a while before deciding to check the place out.

The owner lives in [a different city] and the current tenant in the 3 bed/2 bath house shows me around. I didn’t really like it, but I had no choice, so I sign a lease and move my stuff in.

At this point 2 of the 3 rooms are taken. A week later a third room mate shows up and now the house is to capacity.

I leave for the weekend for a convention and when I come back the other 2 room mates tell me that the landlord came and stayed in the house, specifically in my room and in the space that I am renting.

The washer & dryer are in my bedroom (odd, I know) so I can’t just lock the room door. The landlord never mentioned that she was coming to either of us, let alone that she was staying.

I was shocked, disgusted, and appalled that she had no problem sleeping in the space I was renting, rummaging through my closet, and altering the layout of the room.

I confronted her about it, told her that this violation of my space and privacy is a deal breaker and that I would live out my time for the month then leave. I also demanded $250 deposit back, which she is now refusing to give.

I can’t trust this lady, let alone leave my stuff in this house while I am at work.

I called the cops non-emergency line and they told me that if she shows up I can call them to have her removed if the contract doesn’t stipulate she can have access to the premise, which it does not.

She tried to inform me that this was her house, that she was always going to be living here and that we were going to share space with her, so I asked “why are there 3 people living in a 3 bedroom house if you are also a tenant, and where did you plan on sleeping?”

Does consumerist have any tips as to where I can file an official complaint with this psycho woman!?

Z didn’t specify where this house is located, but it may be in California. If so, the state department of consumer affairs has a handy publication that spells out landlord-tenant relations, but does not specify what to do when you find that your landlord has spent the weekend snuggled up in your bed without permission. This section does give some leads for third parties that might be able to help, though.

Update:
Room-Borrowing Landlord Is Mentally Ill, Running A Scam, Or Both