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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, here is the background info: I live in an apartment complex which is mostly college students. You can lease by the bedroom so that you are only resposable for yourself and not your roommate. Well, I have a two bedroom apartment but am only using one bedroom. However, I was using the extra bedroom for storage and stuff. They did tell me to take all the stuff out around Thanksgiving so that the corporate people could come in, however they said that after that, I could move it back in since they knew that people were using the extra bedrooms. This was in contrast to the note that was on the door that said they would change the locks on the door and to get my stuff out. I chose to believe the person that I talked to on the phone, that it was okay to use that extra room.
One time I came home and the door was locked, however I unlocked with the key I had made of my ex-roommates. Another time I came in and the door was closed but not locked. However, I chose not to make a big deal about it with the apartment people since I really wasn't sure if I was supposed to be using the room.
Now, this weekend I went away for about a day and a half to go to a funeral with my fiance. I left the cats lots of food and a clean litterbox that was located in said extra bedroom. I got home tonight and the door to the bedroom was closed. I open the door and Justin walks out! So Stormy had no litterbox and Justin had no food or water (that was in the living room). Stormy had pooped and peed on the bathroom floor.
I assume that they probably came into my apartment sometime on Saturday. I'm guessing that they did this since everyone else who lives here is a student and has gone on spring break as of Friday. BUT isn't this illegal to enter my apartment without asking permission and without prior notice?!
Part of the reason for me having two cats is so that they could keep each other company while I'm gone. And when I left they were separated from each other! Not only that, but one had no food/water and one had no litterbox! I just can't believe it. :evil: Thank goodness I was not gone any longer than I was. I don't understand how they could not have seen the litterbox in the room and realized that the door needed to stay open. I'm guessing Justin probably ran under the bed and they didn't realize he was in there when they closed the door.
I'm calling them tomorrow and asking if someone came in. However, my fiance thinks that the cats could have accidentally closed the door. But I've never seen them do that before so I really don't think that is the case. I just don't know how much to say because I'm afraid they won't let me use the other bedroom anymore (and I really need it and will need it even more when my fiance moves in). But obviously this is totally unacceptable and can't happen again. It's ridiculous that they can enter my apartment without asking or giving me notice.
The cats seem to be okay. Stormy's poop on the floor had a little blood on it and Justin's poop in the box looked loose and numerous. I'm guessing now that it was probably due to stress but I'll be watching them closely. Poor kitties. :(
There will be **** to pay tomorrow! :evil:
 

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Sorry to read of your predicament and the stress caused to your cats. :(

BUT isn't this illegal to enter my apartment without asking permission and without prior notice?!
I know nothing about the law in the USA, (and only a little about it here in the UK), but in my experience if you have a scumbag landlord they will ride roughshot over the law and usually get away with it. Thankfully not all landlords are completely unreasonable, and I've found that it is always far better to try and negotiate things rather than depend on the law.

It may be wise to keep an eye on Stormy's stools.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about the problems with your apartment and the poor kitties.
There is a good book out there on renters legal rights. "Every Tenants's Legal Guide" by Portman and Stewart the 3rd edition. These two authors are Attorney's. We found this book at our local book store or you can also look it up online.
Before you jump to any conclusions you will need to find out who or if anyone actually entered your apartment. If you can't get anyone to admit it then your out of luck. :(
It is possible for a cat to close a door. I know that my cat can open a door if it's not completely closed. One of your cats could have rubbed against the door and accidentally closed it.
Good luck!
 

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i've had my fair share of scumbag landlords, i've made several trips to this web site http://www.rentlaw.com

and here's one they link to specifically for texas http://www.texastenant.org/

from my experience, it all depends on your lease. if your lease says they have to give you notice, then that's that! they have to give you a notice. if not, they can pretty much show up any time they want.

though, some states require landlords to give you a notice, usually between 24-48 hours even if its not stated in the lease.

poor kitties!

i had a landlord once who'd show up anytime he pleased. and for any reason. i came home from school one day and he was ON MY PHONE calling long distance to NEW YORK. :shock:
 

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Gosh, what a rotten situation for you and your cats. :(
I don't know about Texas law but in Minnesota a landlord can come in any time unannounced. Most give you the curtesy of some notice, but not all. Years ago when I was single my roommate and I had a landlord who would show up at all hours and let himself in for little or no reason. What a jerk. :evil:
Regardless, I think you have every right to be upset.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here's the other weird thing...when we were driving home yesterday (it was around 5:30 or so) I called my apartment just being silly to leave a message on my answering machine for my cats to hear. It rang like 8 times and never went to the message. I thought maybe I had accidentally turned off the answering machine. I got home and it was turned on. I had my fiance call me just to see if it worked and it came on after 4 rings like normal.
The only possible explanation for what it did was that either my answering machine has something really wrong with it (unlikely since it worked when my fiance called) or that someone was on my phone when I tried to call.
I'm still calling later and asking if someone entered my apartment and that I don't want them to do that without asking first. The weird thing is, usually they leave a note a day or two in advance to let you know they are coming in. And if they can't at least give me notice, I'm going to tell them to not touch anything in my apartment. I just now remembered that one time my thermostat had been changed.
 

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About the answering machine... Assuming you have call waiting, if someone else had called your phone right before you did, and the machine was still running, some machines will take a bit to reset themselves and will not pick up in the normal number of rings. Mine is like that. If I call, hang up on the machine and then call right back, it will take longer to answer. That may be a possibility but I guess you won't know for sure.

Sorry about your situation. Illegal or not, it is an invasion of your privacy.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I called and the girl I talked did say that even though it seems ludacrous, they can come into our apartments whenever they want, they just usually give prior notice. She said she thought they were doing inspections last week.
She also said that the person who told me I could use the extra bedroom is wrong. Apparently they can come lock it up and fine me for having stuff in there.
When I told her about my cat, she did say she was very sorry about that.
I guess there's nothing I can do about the situation...if they say I can't use the bedroom and that they can come in when they want, I don't see what action I can take. I guess in the future when I will be gone for more than a day, I will keep a litterbox in the other bathroom and just close off the extra bedroom so that they won't get trapped in there. Which sucks because the extra bedroom has a window ledge that they love to sun themselves on.
Now I don't know whether my fiance and I will stay here this summer. We were planning to, but there's no way we will have enough space in the event that we can't use the extra bedroom. I just don't know where I will find an apartment that will let us lease for only 4 months, allow pets and will be furnished. :(
 

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Can your fiance just rent the other bedroom so you guys could use it legally?

And about what the second girl said on the phone -- I wouldn't trust her word either, if the first girl you talked to was wrong as well. Check your lease. It will say in there whether landlord has a right to come in unannounced or not. And if they broke the rules, then check tenant rights (you can find the site online) and see what you can do about that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Rent per bedroom is $475 a month. Which is an okay price. However $475 X 2 is not!
I have a feeling that based on that website about texas apartment agreements, they probably do have the right to come in whenever. However, I guess I should check it out and make sure.
 

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475 for just a bedroom?????? That is ludicrous! I have a nice big one bedroom apartment with a decent sized kitchen, big bedroom, bathroom, and a huge living room for 575 a month. Are you getting ripped off or is Texas just that expensive to live in? :shock:

So are you going to be paying all the rent then? Because 950 for a nice big two bedroom apartment isn't THAT off -- but usually roommates will split the cost of that. I still think it's pretty expensive. He couldn't afford rent?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, Austin is fairly expensive. But part of what you are paying for is that the apartment is fully furnished, has washer/dryer, cable is paid, high speed internet paid. It is mostly for college students who don't want to pay $600 + for an unfurnished one bedroom and don't want to worry about getting a place that is larger than 1 BR but then having their roommate leaving and them getting stuck with the full rent. I have a friend who went into debt because his roommate didn't pay his share of the rent so a lot of people do like the individual bedroom leases.
He won't be moving in until we're married...I will be still in my training program with only $500 stipend per month and he'll be graduated but will be trying to start up a business, so he'll probably just have a part time job. So we were just going to stay here if we could keep on paying $475 and getting 2 bedrooms out of it. Plus since we'll only be here till September and we don't have any furniture... But also if we stayed here we would have to live in an extended stay hotel for about 3 weeks since they aparment lease ends in mid August and I can't renew it for just one more month. In which case we'd have to find a place that is affordable and accepts pets.
It's just a huge mess of logistics that I'm in the middle of trying to figure out. :?
 

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That's always hard. Trying to make all the pieces of your life click into place. My boyfriend is finishing getting his master's degree and will be done in May. We have no idea where he's going to get a job -- it could be across the country. But wherever he goes, we want to stay together, so that will mean a big move. But I hate not being able to hunt for apartments yet or look for a new job -- we just have to wait and see and that's the worst. I just got a promotion at work, but that might be something I have to leave, and start all over. It's tough sometimes.
 

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Once I was in a situation (with my husband) when we had to move in motel room for about 2 months - there was just one room and small bathroom + small fridge and a microwave. We had to rent a storage to put our stuff there and took just some clothes to this motel. We didn't have much money - this was one of the cheapest motels in Toronto where all the prostitutes and drug dealers are. Crazy time... Somehow we managed...Our love kept us strong! :)
 
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