Renter claims landlord is violating his privacy

Juan Martinez says a man TMs home is his kingdom and he stands by that.

He is the head of his household even if it TMs a small apartment on Cherokee Street in Pharr where he lives with his parents, wife and 2 children.

It's crowded at times, but family is important to Juan so it's a non-issue.

What is bugging him these days is a note from the landlord stating in Spanish that a maintenance worker on site will begin making monthly unannounced visits to check the cleanliness of the apartments.

Juan is outraged.

He said he is going to come by whenever he feels like it.

His privacy is one thing; the safety of his family is another.

Juan says if a stranger walked into his home without being invited in or when he was not there and his wife and kids were alone, police would be called.

So why, he asks, just because someone has access to a key to their apartment is it not against the law?"I feel like my rights mean nothing."

Juan's lease agreement does state that the landlord can inspect the property when necessary, but Juan says there's nothing that warrants an unscheduled visit.

He told me if I don TMt agree with it, I can move out so I TMm moving out.

Not without letting his disapproval for the management of the apartments be known and sending a warning out to all renters to read the fine print and know your rights.

"Next time I might just take the lease to a lawyer to tell me what a landlord can and cannot do."

The manager of the apartments told us over the phone that he is not breaking any laws, but that his employees or himself will not enter unless the head of household is there.

Action 4 News looked up Texas tenant rights and according to the Texas Tenant Advisor unless the lease agreement says the landlord can enter your apartment or house, the landlord has no right to do so, except in emergencies and for repairs you have requested.

A tenant has exclusive possessory rights to the property, but many landlords do not recognize this right.

Thirty-eight states have statutes to protect tenants from improper invasions of privacy, but Texas is not one of them.