F*cking landlords, this is exactly why such people of rank shouldn't exist at all, and everyone should have at least one place they can call home without living in fear of the sort of thing that you've mentioned happening. "Landlords" are a dated concept anyway, I hope they'll be laughed at as the clowns they are after the revolution, but not getting side tracked too much, it depends what country you're in, if you're in the UK I believe it certainly is illegal, it wouldn't surprise me if a backwards country like the US didn't have such a law though, (hard to believe I'm actually defending a law, but eh), my advise would be from this point to get in touch with a lawyer, seek their advice on all these laws, they should know the answer providing they work in the right field. Unlikely you'll get legal aid anymore in the UK now though due to the cuts, and lack of anyone actually caring if you're poor, but that's "justice" folks, it exists in more abundance when you've got money it seems, funny that.
I recently had a neighbour who had his dog stolen by the local estate Nazis, f*cking bunch of bastards and their rules, hate the lot of them. Bring on the revolution I say.