My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Tennessee
A month or two ago I posted about this. I will try to be short and to the point.
Two adults, two young children in a two bedroom apartment. Since we co-sleep one of our rooms we use for storage. Property manager does a monthly pest control/inspection. She complained about the second bedroom being cluttered and unsafe because of toy storage. Got an official lease violation stating she would be back to re-inspect in 48 hours. I piled everything onto the bed and made a clear path from the door to the window. Second inspection never took place, even though we stayed at home all day for this.
Some of the things, I had to move into the dining area which we do not use. Some things include my daughter's art easel, the baby's walker, an extra car seat. In that dining area we have both a desk and a table which we have placed things on top of, such as extra food that doesn't fit into cabinets, and at the time being some remaining Christmas lights that we need to take back to storage (yes we have a storage unit already).
So we had an inspection yesterday and today we get another lease violation. This time regarding the clutter in the dining area. The notice reads "It has been noticed during inspection your unit has a large amount of clutter in the dining area. Per your community rules, Section 16, paragraph 3, Keep walls and woodwork free from dirty hand prints, ink, crayons, stickers and holes. Carpet, vinyl, tile and baseboards are to be kepth clean at all times. Vacuum carpet frequently. Beverage and food spots can be removed with cold water and a mild soap. Clean vinyl or tile thoroughly before waxing. Keep floors free from clutter, toys, clothes, etc."
It is important to note that our house is clean...the floors are clean, the walls are clean, no crayon marks, kitchen, bathroom, livingroom, master bedroom we do use is spotless.
At this point it is clear she is picking on us. The previous problem was that we were blocking the path from door to window in the other room which she deemed a safety hazard due to fire possibility. OK I can take that. But now she is picking on an area that has zero windows.
Our lease is in the process of being renewed for the end of March. We have turned all paperwork in. We pay our rent on time, and rarely complain about anything aside from when our A/C stopped working or when the hot water heater broke. This is the cheapest place we have found to rent and aside from the harassment mentioned above there are no significant problems. I mean we did go out the other day to a huge trail of dog crap all over the breezeway and down the stairs. And there are never no less than 20 cigarette butts in the path between our vehicle, in the breezeway, up the stairs and directly in front of our door to our second floor apartment (talk about a fire hazard not to mention disgusting).
We really cannot afford to move and need to know what we can do to get this woman to cease picking on us? Would a lawyer be able to send a letter that tells her to quit? And even if that is done, she will probably just find something else to pick at and retaliate. Just another incidence of a renter being victim, right? Yes, at this point I am frustrated.
One last thing to note. I have read reviews of this place and others who were either evicted or did not have their lease renewed made similar complaints and said that when prospective new properties called (for reference) she would bring up all the frivolous lease violations and bad mouth the prospective tenants to the point they could not get approved for a new place.