Tenant suspects manager of illegal entry

Rent it Right

Q: My sister has lived in a rent-controlled apartment for 16 years. Over the past month there has been evidence that someone has been entering her apartment. Little things are disturbed, such as a picture on the floor that’s moved to the computer and her printer changing from English to Japanese. We believe it is the manager because he is the only one with a key and the front door is always locked upon her return. In these tough economic times, we think they are trying to get rid of her so they can get more money for her unit. What recourse does she have? –Shirley G

A: Landlords with long-term tenants in rent-controlled cities are often anxious that these folks move on. When tenants don’t leave voluntarily, there’s no opportunity to raise rents to market levels. Many times, the allowable rent increases do not cover the landlord’s increased cost of doing business.