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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Question about Homeland Security and Landlord Tenant Acts

Hmmm, I was just talking to someone that brought something alarming to my attention. It seems that his landlord (apartment complex manager) entered his residence. The motive for the entry was to see if my colleague had animals or pets that violated the lease agreement.

The landlord left a note on my colleague's door stating that his aquarium had been confiscated. When my colleague confronted the landlord about what happened, he was told that landlords may enter any property to investigate suspicious activity pursuant of the Homeland Security Act.

It seems that there was evidence that he or his neighbor had recently disposed of a 12 gallon aquarium box. Since an aquarium was not allowed as stated in the lease - it was the manager's right to enter the apartment to investigate as well as confirm that no terrorist activity was being conducted.

Of course, my reaction is "huh???" I'm actually surprised that a landlord would brazenly hide behind the Homeland Security Act. But, it could very well be that the Homeland Security Act affords landlords new responsibilities and rights. What do you all think?

The law probably varies by state or province - but I've always had the assumption that a landlord had to give prior notice to enter the premisis unless there is an immiediate emergency or motive.

Anyway, the problem is that most people my age don't have enough money to go get a lawyer for consultation. Which of course, may be the sole reason why the landlord feels they can break the law.

In any event - in Kansas (where both myself and my colleague reside), the law states:

Code:
... ....

58-2551.  Disclosures required of landlord or person authorized to enter rental agreement; person failing to comply becomes landlord's agent for certain purposes. 

(a) The landlord or any person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on the landlord's behalf shall disclose to the tenant in writing, at or before the commencement of the tenancy, the name and address of:

    (1)  The person authorized to manage the premises; and

    (2)  an owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for the purpose of service of process and for the purpose of receiving and receipting for notices and demands.

(b)  The information required to be furnished by this section shall be kept current and this section extends to and is enforceable against any successor landlord, owner or manager.

(c)  A person who fails to comply with subsection (a) becomes an agent of each person who is a landlord for the purpose of:

    (1)  Service of process and receiving and receipting for notices and demands; and

    (2)  performing the obligations of the landlord under this act and under the rental agreement and expending or making available for such purpose all rent collected from the premises.

... ....

and 

... ....

58-2557.  Landlord's right to enter; limitations. 

(a) The landlord shall have the right to enter the dwelling unit at reasonable hours, after reasonable notice to the tenant, in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen or contractors.

(b)  The landlord may enter the dwelling unit without consent of the tenant in case of an extreme hazard involving the potential loss of life or severe property damage.

(c)  The landlord shall not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant.

... ....

and 

58-2571.  Tenant's refusal to allow lawful access; remedies; landlord's unlawful or unreasonable entry; remedies. 

(a) If the tenant refuses to allow lawful access to the dwelling unit, the landlord may obtain injunctive relief to compel access, or may terminate the rental agreement. In either case, the landlord may recover actual damages.

(b)  If the landlord makes an unlawful entry, or a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner, or makes repeated demands for entry otherwise lawful but which have the effect of unreasonably harassing the tenant, the tenant may obtain injunctive relief to prevent the recurrence of the conduct, or may terminate the rental agreement. In either case, the tenant may recover actual damages.

... ....
** edit ** I can't spell ** end **


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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 09:53 PM
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Question about Homeland Security and Landlord Tenant Acts

It would seem to me that you have a case there, how on earth is an aquarium related to terrorism? Unless those damn sea monkeys are really terrorists which would mean I am not crazy but anyways I think I remember a guy on this board saying he was a lawyer, perhaps someone here of some knowledge will be able to help you guys. All I can say is that is bullcrap and highly illegal. As far as I am concerned that should be equivelent to breaking and entering and theft.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 08:03 PM
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Question about Homeland Security and Landlord Tenant Acts

Well my friends, here's Ashcroft's work "f-ing it up for the people here in the streets-Tenacious D." The Patriot Act has so many loopholes and is so broad that anyone with a bit of knowledge of it can hide behind it.
Technically, your friend's landlord is right, as stated in the Kansas code. Technically, your friend is right, as stated in the aforementioned. But you guys should check out the Equal Housing Act, and see if you have a case.
The only problem that I see if you pursue legal action would be your freind's rental history, and how the landlord-leasing company can screw it up while the case is proceeding.

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