Tenant Toolkit: Enforcement Agencies & If You're Threatened or Locked Out

Call local enforcement agencies, or, if locked out, call the police.

Habitability and Code Violations

If your landlord fails to fix a serious problem, you will need a trusted local official to record the problem. Local health inspectors, building inspectors, or police officers can document the problem and even issue citations against landlords.

If your unit suffers floods, leaks, mold, or pest problems, citations from local Building or Health inspectors may solve the problem in the short term. Citations put the landlord on notice, and they make great evidence that gets the Court on your side. Notices of Violation may even provide a defense to evictions.

Harassment and Lockouts

If harassment is repeated and after hours, if your landlord changes the locks on you (do not break in if possible), turns of utilities, or, if you reasonably fear physical harm, call the local police. Try to get the officer’s name, be friendly, and ask about getting a report.

If the landlord locks you out, or turns of utilities, DO NOT retaliate.

DO NOT break in, even though the place is still yours.

The police do not know you. Your landlord can always lie to cover their tracks!

Just stay calm, stay put, and call the police. They will document the situation, and they will most often direct the landlord to let you back in as soon as the landlord arrives.

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