What can we do after our landlord sent people into our house without notice and tried to evict us only to let us know he sent the to the wrong house.

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What can we do after our landlord sent people into our house without notice and tried to evict us only to let us know he sent the to the wrong house.

Hi Today,

two people enter our house with a key and were surprised to see us there. They
informed us that we had been evicted but we got them to leave. Our first instinct
was to call the police which we did and then let our landlord know. He then told
us that they worked for him and he had sent them to the wrong house. This
obviously is really worrying since we now have to think about him accidentally
giving ours to people he works for. Do we have any legal options

Asked on September 15, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You don't have any effective recourse against a one-time error:
1) The law only provides compensation for actual "harm": a brief, one-time interruption like this, while upsetting, was such a small violation of your quiet enjoyment of your rental (e.g. a few hours out of a month) that there is effectively no compensation you can get. If harassment continues or there is a pattern of harassment, that is a different story, and in that case, you be entitled to compensation, but not for a one-time event of this nature.
2) You landlord has the right to have keys to the unit and to give access to your unit for lawful purposes (e.g. to contractors for repairs or rennovations)--it is his property, after all, not yours. If he gives out keys to an untrustworthy person who robs from you, you could hold him liable, but you cannot prevent him from having or using keys.


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