People Outraged After Tenant Shares Landlord’s Bizarre Terms: 24-hour Surveillance, No Late-Night Cooking

People Outraged After Tenant Shares Landlord’s Bizarre Terms: 24-hour Surveillance, No Late-Night Cooking
Stock image of the keys of a rented home. (Master Senaiper/Pixabay)
Venus Upadhayaya

Facebook users were outraged after a tenant in Florida shared her landlord’s bizarre terms and conditions that included no cooking after 9:30 p.m., no guests, 24-hour surveillance, a $10 late fee if rent is not paid on time, and other conditions like no alcohol or drugs.

Jessica Marteny from North Carolina shared the terms and conditions on the Facebook group “Awful roommates: roommates from hell” and, according to the Daily Mail, it had 450 comments by outraged users.

It started with rational demands like no drugs, controlling the noise levels, and keeping the place clean, and then moved to 24-hour surveillance, no cooking after 9.30 p.m., no guests and no alcohol.

“No guests! No one is permitted on the property by those residing at the residence. Rides must stop at the end of the driveway and let you off accordingly. If your ride lingers or comes onto the driveway it is considered trespassing and will be handled as such due to posted signs on property,” said the third rule, according to the Daily Mail.

The landlord said the property is under 24-hour surveillance that includes an infrared camera during the night. “This is for your protection and for mine,” the terms and conditions said.

One of the most bizarre rules was the restricted hours for cooking. “No cooking of food during the hours of 9:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. on weekdays and between the hours of 9:30 p.m. to 9:30 a.m. on weekends.”

Facebook users were shocked by the impractical demands. “Is this guy renting a prison cell?” asked one user, according to the Daily Mail.

Someone wrote that such a person should not be a landlord.

“What if you have a partner? They can’t come over???? And no cooking before 9:30 on a weekend? What if you work on the weekend in the morning and wanna cook breakfast,” another user commented.

The Sun reported that there were sympathetic users as well who suggested that the landlord might have turned unreasonable after having a bad experience with a tenant previously.
However, one user commented: “The no guest rule really gets me. Imagine your family visiting you and wanting to see your new place and you get evicted immediately because of that.”

Tenancy in the United States

In the United States, tenancy is directly linked to housing, lifestyle, and economic trends. The total number of households in the country increased by 7.6 million from 2006 to 2016.
The number of households renting their homes to tenants jumped from 31.2 percent of households in 2006 to 36.6 percent in 2016, according to Pew Research.
“As the United States emerged from the financial crisis and recession of 2007–2009, rents in many areas increased rapidly, reaching previously unheard-of levels. This resulted in a massive and continuing transfer of wealth from tenants to real estate investors, displacement of hundreds of thousands of tenants, and a major increase in homelessness,” said an analysis by Dollar Sense.
Rent controls and the protection of tenancy rights is decided at the state level in the country. Most states enjoy rent stabilization, controlled by the Rent Guidelines Board. “It froze rents in 2015 and 2016 but in 2017 voted to allow landlords rises of up to 2 percent,” reported The Guardian.
Tenants also have certain rights that are protected by law. According to Legal Zoom, a tenant can’t be denied accommodation on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, family status, or mental or physical disability under the federal Fair Housing Act.

Every tenant also has habitation rights at home which means the home should be safe to live in and the landlord is required to make repairs to keep it in livable condition while a tenant lives there.

“Tenant rights disputes often focus on late or unpaid rent, security deposits, damage, or repairs that are needed. If you and your landlord are unable to resolve your differences yourself, using mediation through the local bar association or business association can be a low-cost way to come to an agreement,” said Legal Zoom.

Venus Upadhayaya reports on India, China, and the Global South. Her traditional area of expertise is in Indian and South Asian geopolitics. Community media, sustainable development, and leadership remain her other areas of interest.
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