two breakins

robertgp421May 9, 2007

My brother lives in an apartment complex in a suburban area. His apartment has been broken into twice in the past couple of weeks. The first time was an attempt, the second time they actually got through the door. He's asked management to transfer his lease to another complex, as he wants to move IMMEDIATELY. So far, they've been amenable, but a bit slow. (He apartment was broken into on Tuesday, they are showing him a place on Thursday.)

A large company owns this property and a number of others in the area. Any suggestions on how to politely escalate and move this along?

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If I'm reading this correctly, there has been a two day time lapse.

Do a followup call. I'd politely call and request that I be able to move in immediately upon being shown an acceptable apartment. Ask how soon he can get the keys. Play up the part that he is nervous, scared and doesn't want to stay in the old place. Ask nicely. Start packing.

One of my friends had this happen about ten years ago. His deadbolt was popped with a crowbar and so was the one across from him. He spent the night there. Dh and I helped him move his furniture out the next day. The apartment people willing let him transfer elsewhere, but the weird part was that they were more upset that they were there in the office with the door open about 50 feet from the break-in.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 4:25PM
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Adellabedella, I will suggest this. He met with a rental agent tonight. The complex he would like to move to does not have a vacancy until June 10.

The company has offered to move him within his existing complex, but he wants to move out of his existing complex entirely and to the new complex (it is gated and secure).

He wants to move someplace secure immediately, and it doesn't look like the company can accommodate him immediately. He'd like out of his lease, but that doesn't seem in the realm of the possible either (he's in it until August). Having lived in the same apartment for seven years, we had hoped for some consideration for him, but that does not seem forthcoming.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 7:14PM
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It sounds like the apartment company is trying to work with him. The company can only move him someplace where they have an open apartment. More desireable apartment buildings often have a waiting list. Those of us not in his position have exerienced that.

Does your brother know that the gated apartment is safer? My personal opinion has always been that it's a false sense of security. (Someone can correct me on this.) It's truly not that hard to get into some of those communities. You just follow the person ahead of you when they open the gate. Have your brother call the police department to see if he can get reports on the crime in a couple of different complex locations. The report might confirm what he thinks or he might find out something he'd like to know about. If your brother is intimidated by staying there, he needs to get out now even if it isn't his first choice. Moving two times in three months may be more hassle and expense, but it beats staying someplace you don't feel safe. Your brother could possibly ask the rental company if they would work with him by giving him reduced rent or something for one month in exchange for him continuing to rent with them past the August date. They are under no obligation to do so. Some companies will give you a free month or a certain discount when you first sign with them. He could ask for this and mention that moving is costing him financially and some deposits are not transferable or there is a fee to transfer them. (This may or may not be the case for him.) If he has been a good renter, they may try to help him out.

Did the police tell your brother what type of break-in they thought he had? For instance, was someone watching his every move so they knew when he left to go to the store , someone looking for prescription drugs, or was it one of those break-ins where everyone was at work for the day so the parking lot was cleared out? That would influence my decision on how to proceed.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 11:51AM
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Adellabedella, His current apartment opens to the outside/parking lot. In the gated community, his apartment would open to the inside of a secure building. He's more comfortable with that idea (not to mention the gate into the complex). He is planning on moving quickly, even as soon as the weekend if he can find a place. I cringe at the thought of eating two months rent, but he wants out. I don't blame him.

I'm not sure how to describe the break-in. While he hasn't said what the police think directly, given that his apartment was targeted twice, and that he works for a gun company (he doesn't advertise that), we think someone has found that out and has targeted his apartment in the hopes of finding a gun or guns. The burglaries happened while he was at work and the parking lot was empty.

He simply wants out of his existing complex and to move someplace permanently. He doesn't want to do an intermediary move, and that's making things more complicated.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 8:06PM
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Wow! He is possibly being personally targeted. I'd hate to eat the rent too, but you do have to protect yourself.

As an extra precaution, I'd get a new phone number listed under a false name in the phonebook or an unlisted number and forward my mail to a PO Box. He can also request more frequent police patrols.

Has he talked to his employer? Is this happening to other employees too? Maybe the employer needs to develop some other safety precautions to protect its employees.

Good luck to your brother. I hope he finds a safe place to live.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 10:42AM
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tell the landlord you want to get the f out of the there or your finding a new place.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 7:37PM
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When the landlord is a corporate entity, it's a little harder. However, as he was urgently looking for a new place, he found another group that was willing to buy his lease out to get him to sign in their complex. He had never heard of this happening before. He was very pleased and now has an apartment he's comfortable with.

Adellabedella, he already had a PO Box, and for darn sure the telephone number is now changed and unlisted. Good sound advice. Ultimately, following up on earlier advice he checked chose a complex that other employees from the company lived in and recommended for safety.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 9:47PM
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