My Apartment is Listed on a Vacation Rental Website & It Shows It's Available

posted 3 years ago in Legal
Post # 2
Member
9256 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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extraaccount18 :  Look up tenant’s rights in your city and state (or location if not US). She can not legally tell you you can’t clean the carpets. If your rental agreement includes the furnishings but you would rather use your own, it might be on you to store the stuff that came with the place, but I’m not sure. Your best bet is to look up your local landlord/tenant laws and regulations to see what she is and isn’t allowed to do, and what your remedies might be if she violates your rights. In most places, everyone has the right to “peaceful enjoyment” of their home, whether it’s rented or owned. That means you can live your life and make a reasonable amount of noise during reasonable time periods. Cleaning your carpets at midnight would interfere with the neighbor’s peaceful enjoyment. But cleaning the carpets during the day is reasonable. Nobody is promised 24 hours of silence. But just like you shouldn’t be making noise at midnight, the vacation renters shouldn’t either. There’s a balance. 

Post # 3
Member
3081 posts
Sugar bee

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extraaccount18 :  is there any early termination fees? It sounds like you can put in your notice at any time

if it would not be a huge financial hit to break the lease, i would start looking for another place and move. What she is doing is not right, you have rights within your own home to do as you please (to a certian extent) and you can look into the tenant/landlord laws in your area, but honestly she sounds like a nightmare to deal with and issues are just going to continue.

This sounds like a messy situation with her and i would leave. 

Post # 4
Member
123 posts
Blushing bee

Ugh short term rentals are so bad for cities.  Why don’t you just move?  It doesn’t sound like a great place to live.  If your lease term is September to September it does sound like you might have a year lease.  Your lease should say what the terms are for terminating it and that should tell you whether she can evict you if someone rents the unit on VRBO.  Does your city allow full time short term rentals? (Mine does not but it’s not enforced that well.)  If not you could report the other unit to the city anonymously.  

Post # 6
Member
4902 posts
Honey bee

I’m nosy, so I would probably have a friend respond to the VRBO listing and see what she says.

But otherwise, look over your lease with a fine tooth comb, contact your local tenants right agency and/or a lawyer specializing in this area, and start shopping around for a new place to live because this place sounds like too big of a headache.

Post # 7
Member
2968 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

Honestly? Yeah, it seems like she is trying to push you out but realizes that she has no grounds to evict you. You have to decide whether you are willing to keep putting up with this bullshit or would rather just move somewhere else. 

Post # 8
Member
234 posts
Helper bee

Sorry, bee. From all of those passive-agreesive encounters, it definitely sounds like the owner wants to make your living situation difficult so you’ll want to break the lease. She wants to earn more income from short-term vacation renters without having to violate the contract herself. Even if she sees reason about the carpets and the daytime noise, the relationship will be hard to rebuild and she does not sound like she will be reasonable in future interactions. She is an awful landlord and frankly an unethical person, but if she hasn’t technically broken any rules, I would start looking for a new place ASAP, unless there are some really compelling reasons why you want to fight to stay in this building.

You need to document everything the owner says or does that negatively affects you and your home, including her inaction when you complain about the vacation renters. A paper trail will be essential in case you don’t move out fast enough for her liking and she takes more aggressive measures. You need to protect yourself. Consider seeking some legal advice for your local area; there are some free or reduced-cost programs depending on your location and income. Since you mentioned that local laws will likely tighten for short-term rentals, consider making your case to the local committee that oversees such laws. Yours might be the data point that changes the law faster.

Post # 9
Member
322 posts
Helper bee

Check  your tenet rights. 

Most areas have a right to quiet enjoyment. 

Post # 10
Member
3350 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

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extraaccount18 :  i’m really confused by how you’re using the terms “short term” and “long term”. you have a ONE YEAR lease – in what city is that considered short-term??? most cities define STR as fewer than 30 days/1 month. i don’t know anywhere that calls a 1-year lease a “short term” lease.

what city do you live in? you need to know your rights as a tenant!!! most cities allow for something along the lines of ‘reasonable noise and reasonable quiet and privacy’ – this typically means something like if you’re screaming at 2 am or playing loud music, then your neighbors have a valid complaint against you. but it also means you’re allowed to clean your carpets at 9am on a saturday morning, neighbors (and landlord) be damned. stop listening to your landlord, and instead inform yourself of your rights. you can call 311 (or whatever it is in your city) to file a noise complain against renters who are plaing music at midnight. you can also clean your apartment as you see fit, regardless of what your landlord says.

Post # 12
Member
2968 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

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extraaccount18 :  There are three possibilities here:

1. She is trying to push you out and hopes to have the propery free in November to rent out to potential vacationers.

2. She intends to kick you out between now and then. She may be trying to goad you into breaking a rule of some kind in order to kick you out.

3. She has no intention of making the unit available to potential vacationers and is actually running a scam.

I still think #1 is the most likely scenario given what you have described in your OP and comments.

Post # 13
Member
992 posts
Busy bee

You need to understand what your rights and remedies are as a tenant in your area before you do anything.  

Post # 14
Member
1516 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Make sure you save all communication and put everything in writing! I have a couple of friends who have been burned by shady landlords and had to take them to court. It could also end up affecting your renter’s references which might impact your future housing. 

Post # 15
Member
67 posts
Worker bee

Keep or make copies of all interactions with her from your fake email and also just any other emails or texts of complaints/suggestions/rules that she sends to you about your apartment. 

Look up tenant laws in your area and arm yourself with knowledge. 

If you have to, escalate to the building owner and any city agencies representing tenant rights. Do not let her bully you. If you know the laws and if they are on your side, then you don’t have to acquiesce to any of her demands. You’ll be able to confidently tell her sorry, but no. 

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