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I asked this in another section, looking for a bit more advice, thanks in advance!!
My sister has a horrible situation. Her landlord has listed the house she has rented for sale. She is moving out in one month, but in the interim the landlords real estate agent is coming in every day to show the place. At first, they demanded that she pack her stuff and her 3 kids and leave during these viewings, but my sister laid the law down that leaving every day, sometimes 3 times a day is impossible. Last night, she came home from work to find the real estate agent having an open house. There were 20 people milling around, some had helped themselves to items from her fridge, and one lady was using her phone. My sister called me and I came over to help her keep things together. The open house lasted till 9pm. My sister has 3 kids, one being an infant, another is 3 and she has a 5 year old who is autistic. My sister’s baby needed a feeding at 8pm, and the real estate agent requested that she not breastfeed her son in the house, but use a bottle or do it elsewhere. My sister had no idea that there was an open house last night. She was not given notice. She has paid rent until the end of October. After the last person left, I was helping her to clean up and we noticed that her IPod Touch was missing from her bedside table drawer, as was her laptop and her jewelry box. She called her landlord, the real estate agent and the police. The agent cited that she had her eyes on every person the entire time, however that was impossible as when my sister arrived home to find this, the agent was on the second floor, and there were about 10 people on the first unsupervised. Had my sister known this was to happen she could have taken precautions and locked her stuff away, but she was not given any notice. The landlord has taken the side of the agent and said that her rental insurance should cover it, which likely it wont. The police were pretty blunt in saying that the house was WIPE OPEN and it could have been anybody.
How is this best handled? I feel that my sister should be compensated for her missing items, the times that she has been denied access to the home she has paid for, as well as her inconvenience
My thoughts are that the landlord is responsible as well as the agent. The landlord KNEW about this open house, but nobody told my sis. Effectively, the agent and all these strangers just broke into her home….

4 Thoughts on Landlord let people in house with no notice, MANY items stolen! WHO is responsible?
  1. Reply
    nas88car 300 grt race #11 MM #1!
    August 1, 2011 at 4:06 am

    If anything is missing and can be proved the LANDLORD is responsable for the replacement of the items… also i bet they left cards on the table..
    i would contact the police about the missing items

  2. Reply
    August 1, 2011 at 4:13 am

    Contact the police immediately and file a burglary report. The landlord and the person showing the house are responsible.

  3. Reply
    David S
    August 1, 2011 at 5:00 am

    The bottom line here is that the LL is responsible. Absolutely. Unequivocally.

    What an intolerable situation. First of all, the LL has absolutely no right to enter the premises, or permit anyone else to do so, without the permission of the tenant. It sounds like the LL is a small-timer who doesn’t understand tenant rights. The RE agent is the LL’s agent, so the LL is 100% responsible for the missing items.

    Your sister must take two steps immediately.
    1. Inform the LL that any further illegal entry into the house without her consent will result in calls to the police and the local housing authority. Then do it if it happens again.
    2. She needs to document the value of all items of value, such as the iPod that has been lost, and demand payment from the LL, because if not for his actions, the apartment and her property would have secure. If he refuses, sue him in small claims court. This is such a bad case of tenant abuse that I wouldn’t be surprised if she won punitive damages.

  4. Reply
    August 1, 2011 at 5:33 am

    If it says in the lease that the landlord is allowed to show the propery while the current tenant is still residing, then they’re allowed to do that WITH NOTICE. Your sister has every reason to be upset and she has a legal right to damages. Generally, if something is stolen from a rental house the owner or any owner agents isn’t responsible for the loss and it must be claimed under insurance, but this was due to an act of negligence. She needs to pull phone records and emails to prove that she didn’t have any notice, now while these things are still easy to find. Also, if she has reciepts for the items stolen she needs to get those together or any type of proof that she owned these items and when she purchased them.

    Next, she needs to demand damages from her landlord, both verbally and by certified letter. If he doesn’t respond within a resonable amount of time (say 7 days) she needs to file a suit in small claims for her actual damages and punitive (since this was so negligent).

    She really needs to do this. Whoever her landlord is has totally over stepped his/her authority and needs to take responsibility for it, one way or another.

    Good Luck!

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