What should I do about this unauthorized entry in my apartment building?
May 13, 2014 5:52 PM Subscribe
An unknown person let themselves into my neighbors apartment, stole her pot, and then left, and my landlord isn't doing anything about it. I'm wondering what I should do now, if anything. Details at length inside.
posted by apricot to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I live in a 16-unit building in a small town in Western Massachusetts. Possibly relevant information: We are moving out at the end of the month. A new landlord bought the building in November, made some improvements, and has increased the rent 25% since then, turning what was once an affordable home for retired people, young families like mine, and single mothers, one of whom has a disabled son, into a place that is marginally nicer but unaffordable for the people who have lived here for years. He has explicitly told me that he wants to make all the current tenants move so he can renovate and charge higher rents, which he has done to the vacant apartments, and he doesn't want "working class" people living here. My neighbor is a 60-something transwoman who has lived here for 11 years, and is a few years from retiring from her building maintenance job.
On Saturday my husband and I saw someone let themselves into our across-the-hall neighbor's apartment (through the peephole), stay for a few minutes, and then leave. My husband was walking by our door when he heard someone come up the stairs and looked out to see if there was someone leaving a note, since the landlord is constantly leaving notices for everyone. After he saw the guy go in he told me to come look, so I watched him leave. He let himself in with a key and then locked the door after he left.
We thought it was just a painter or one of the many workers around here lately, and later that day saw the painter and his son, who was wearing a black hat like the guy we saw, working on the outside of the building. We didn't think much of it, other than that it seemed a little odd, until Sunday when our neighbor came over to ask if we had seen anyone in her apartment because her small pot stash was missing when she came home on Saturday. We told her what we saw, and she called the landlord. He basically blew her off, said that we "don't like" him, and said that he would talk to the painters, but it was probably the former manager's husband because he suspects him of having a drug problem. (This former manager quit suddenly and last I heard was pursuing a sexual harassment lawsuit because he repeatedly let himself into her apartment, including one time when she was in the shower and refused to leave when she told him to. We have also heard from other tenants that he has let himself into their apartments without notice.) Later that evening he called my husband to find out what we saw and told him the same thing about suspecting the manager.
I emailed him on Monday to find out what he was doing to ensure the safety of us and everyone else in the building and he told me he was "investigating," we're leaving soon so we should be safe for two weeks, and "good luck in your new home." Today the painter came to my door and told me he would never do something like that, his son wouldn't, sorry if I felt unsafe, etc. I emailed the landlord back and said I didn't appreciate him telling the painter we said it was him, if he truly thinks a drug addicted former manager has keys to the building I hope he plans on changing the locks, and that though we're moving soon everyone else in the building deserves to know they are safe and secure too. He answered, in full, "Thank you for your thoughts. Good luck in your new home."
So. What do I do now? Contact the police? Tell everyone else in the building what happened? Let it go? This whole situation is so shady, but even without the alleged pot stealing it is a problem that some random person was able to let himself into an apartment. I just can't tell if my judgment about this is clouded by my irritation with the landlord and his ongoing bullshittery.