How difficult is it to prove landlord retaliation? It’s not easy as one may think.
If the only person who witnesses the retaliation is you and the landlord, it will become a credibility battle in court. Therefore, try to get witnesses to the retaliation. For example, if a landlord changes the locks, consider calling law enforcement. Many times, they will call the landlord and request that the landlord give you the keys. However, make sure (1) you get the law enforcement officer’s name and badge # and (2) they provide you with an incident report #.
Put the retaliation facts in writing
I routine advise my clients to send the landlord a letter, email or text asking the landlord why the landlord did what was done. For example:
___________, why did you change the locks on me? Will you please give me the new keys. I am currently locked out.
Then, when you go to court, if the landlord denies that the locks were changed, you can present the writing to the court (especially if the landlord fails to deny the allegation).
Get Legal Help with Your Landlord Retaliation Claim
This is tricky stuff. Therefore, consult with a competent tenant defense lawyer. If your tenant defense lawyer takes this type of case on full contingency (no out of pocket $ to you), you, simply, cannot afford not to!