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Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Posted by nctrnl (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 3, 05 at 0:06

check this story out..... http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=local&id=3683896

I asked my landlord when I moved in if the locks were changed since the last tenant moved out & he said no.... I then gave him an incredulous look & he said "she moved to iowa". Then the other day I found out that my neighbor used to live in my apartment (apparrently before the former tenant did). The landlord never mentioned this & now I am wondering if she still has a key.
I have a portable alarm in my apt that I have occassionally let go off just so my neighbors could hear that I had what appears to sound like an alarm.
May buy an a real alarm soon. I am just the typeof person that just doesnt trust people (especially landlords).


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

I have lived in only three apartments. Each time I changed all locks and installed a deadbolt. Peace of mind is worth every penny spent on the locks and locksmith!


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Just make sure you tell your landlord you are doing this and get him a key.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Change your locks and dont tell anyone, that way if they try to enter your apt, they will not be able to. And if they call you then you will know they wanted to enter for some reason.

No way on earth would I ever under no circumstances give my keys to a landlord. If they need access then they would have to call me and I will be there and if I couldnt and it was an earth shattering emergency they could just climb the firescape and break the window. But usually for repairs landlords give some notice so you can make arrangements to be there.
But I have to say, the thought of someone else using your bathroom, is absolutely replusive....yuck !!!


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

"Posted by: nightcrawler1961 (My Page) on Tue, Dec 20, 05 at 15:57

Change your locks and dont tell anyone, that way if they try to enter your apt, they will not be able to. And if they call you then you will know they wanted to enter for some reason.
No way on earth would I ever under no circumstances give my keys to a landlord. If they need access then they would have to call me and I will be there and if I couldnt and it was an earth shattering emergency they could just climb the firescape and break the window. But usually for repairs landlords give some notice so you can make arrangements to be there.
But I have to say, the thought of someone else using your bathroom, is absolutely replusive....yuck !!!"

Well, where I live there is pretty much no tenants' rights when it comes to the landlord entering the property.

My landlord made it plenty clear that IF I changed the locks... that I was to give him a copy.
I think a way to get round this is to purposely make a key copy that doesnt work in the lock. But you cant be obvious about it. It has to be a key that is nearly identical to the original, but with one key tooth just slightly off. A way to do this would to take a small file & slighty file one key tooth down and then check it in the lock to make sure it wont work. THEN make a copy of this key & give it to the landlord. If worse comes to worse.... you have an excuse that the keymaker made a bad copy & it wasnt your fault.

I used to make keys the at work.

If you wonder IF the landlord (or anyone else) was in your apartment while you were gone.... you can always buy one of those still image capturing devices (similar to the one mentioned in the article). I plan on buying one of these eventually.
And ... just think of the leverage you would have over a landlord IF you DID catch him on tape/ or digital image going through your personal things! ;)


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Just a word of caution. I don't agree with changing the locks and not telling the landlord. If you change the locks and you don't provide the landlord proper access and something goes wrong while you are away and they cannot get in to rectify the situation, you may be held liable for damages. For instance, let's say that you use the toilet just before leaving the apartment and something goes wrong and it starts to overflow. Water is coming through the ceiling of apartment below. You are gone, and the landlord cannot get in to stop the water. At that point the landlord has to make a decision - let the water continue and cause possibly thousands of dollars in damage, or break the door down. If I were a landlord and this happened, I would break the door down, and then charge you for it.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Sorry gang, I dont agree with giving the LL the keys. I live in a 32 family building. The LL has no keys. He has everyones phone numbers and can get in touch with them if need be.
And like I said, if it was something like a toilet leaking, something really severe, they can just climb the firescape and break the window. But it would have to be a major problem. Any other problem can be scheduled for an appointmnet.
I had a female friend who lived in a 2 family house with old lady & man living downstairs. She happen to be home, and was in the bath tub , when she heard her front door open and heard the man talking to the lady about the way she decorated the living room. She barley had time to cover up before they saw her, Im guessing since she was alone did not have the bathroom door closed. Anyway, can you imagime what that would feel like. Sorry, no one gets my keys ever.... Time to look for a more secure apartment. I dont mean to sound harsh, but it rerally is an invasion of privacy and should not be tollerated by the tennants.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

I once had a tenant change locks. Cost the idiot $75 for the locksmith. It says specifially in my lease this is not to be done. I called at 9am to show the apt later that day (12-2pm) When I got there I couldnt get in and this person was from out of town had to make up their mind that day. The lease states I can show the apartment anytime in final 60 days of ocupancy between 9 - 6pm.

I also used to manage 125 units, currently own/manage 40. Since 1997 I have had to make emergency trips into an apartment. Once for a busted water line, once for an electrical problem. Its not often and I do leave detailed notes about when I entered, why, and what time I left. (its the law in MN) The amount of times tenants have called me to get in because of a lost key or locked out has been well over 50.

Your landlord might also have a master key cut and by throwing out or changing his lock could really mess things up for him. He owns the building and should have access to it. You would want it if you owned it.

I also leave notes on Mondays that I will be replacing, fixing, or maintaing certain items (a/c, smoke detectors, filters, lubricating bath fans, etc) on Wed between 10 am and 2 pm. Like you would want to sit there all day to let me in, or leave your apt open for me.

With also have bi-yearly city inspections with a housing inspector. There times are also very vague.

99% of all lanlords will let you change the lock BUT want a key. The ones that done are ????. I know it can be a problem but I would say only around 5% - 10% will enter improperly.

You are protected as many tenant laws are fed instead of state.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Sorry, I dont buy it.
If you lived in a house would you let a real estate agent bring prospective buyers a tour through your house while you were at work?
It is the same as a LL going into a tennants apt. If I ever had LL tell me he wanted keys, I would never take the apt.
I live in a mega apt neighborhood, huge tenements, most LL do not take keys. They do not want to be responsible should anything be stolen. Private houses with 3 room apts are a little different because LL can almost do what they want to.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

If you lived in a house would you let a real estate agent bring prospective buyers a tour through your house while you were at work?

Yes, people do this all the time. In fact, it is generally recommended that the owner NOT be home when prospective buyers come through. The buyers must be accompanied by an agent, so that agent is responsible for keeping the place safe.

I think our original poster, instead of setting off a fake alarm (which surely annoys his neighbors but probably does NOT make them think they shouldn't break in), should tell the landlord that he is ucomfortable with the OTHER TENANTS potentially having keys (or their friends having keys) and ask if he can change the locks. And if so, ask whether the landlord will need a copy.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Night Crawler is totally nuts! I am a licensed Real Estate Agent. All agents in the state of MN have to pass a test and not have commited certain felonies. This way its safe for us to enter empty homes. I will not show a home if the seller is present. Sellers mess up transactions and buyers do not feel comfortable with the owner there. Obviously you havent tried to sell a property as this is the norm, and sellers will do whatever to get it sold. Hopefully our paths will never cross in Real Estate either as a tenant, buyer, or seller. You are all backwards. From a legal stand point a landlord actually has much more liabilty with out having access than having keys. If something was stolen from a tenants apartment the Landlord will be one of the last indivuals interviewed. I work close with our hosing inspectors and provide updates/ fliers to lanlords in my town. I have heard stories about inspectors, or even police needing to get in with out notifying the tenant. The inspectors had to enter to investicate a snake, a apt full of cats, an apartment with over 40 pet rats. These tenants would remove these, or cover them up if notified. Public health issues. If the landlord does notify the tenant or doesnt provide access he or she can be fined, lose rental permit, or even face jail time.

I tried to evict a tenant once due to non payment and suspecious activity. After I filed the unlawfull detainer I recieved a call from an undercover narcotics officer. He asked if I could hold off on the eviction. He also asked for a set of keys. He could break the door open at any time. He wanted the keys to get into her apartment while she was away to plant a microphone and to search for certain items. This is a worse type scenerio but you and any other tenant who refuses to give me keys to MY BUILDING will not be renting from me and would be a big red flag for classes I teach and attend.

What are you hiding? Perhaps you just have trust issues.

(the tenant mentioned was arrested for selling Meth, and crack. It was a bad deal. I took over mgmt of a house converted into 3 apartments. 2 of the apartments had extreamly bad people and both were arrested withing 45 days of my start, easy way to get rid of them, their stuff is another story. At least I didnt have to replace the door)


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

I understand that yes, a sellar can mess things up, but they should at leat sit in the kitchen or something.
Sorry, but the owner can answer questons about the house better than a agent can, after all the owner lives there. When I was looking at co-ops all the owners were present along with the agent, there was no problem. I dont understand why you wouldnt show a house with the owner present. Sometimes the agents tend to makes all things seem all wonderful.....ya think.....


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Oh boy.... When I show a home co-op or dual, no one else is there. Its me and my buyers I am representing. There should be no questions for the Seller to answere, thats what disclosures are for. If there are questions I call the agent and that agent calls the sellers. In my 9 years or Real Estate I have to say Sellers make things seem wonderfull not agents..... ya think.... Whos needs to sell and why? Who is going to gain the most? In fact I have never had a deal with an agent lying about a factual issue with the home. Sellers lie in half the transactions it seems. (I'm sure agents have lied also but I havent seen it)

Two weeks ago a buyer and I went through 16 homes in one day. One of the sixteen had a seller there due to medical/ age reasons. On avg we were in each home 15-20 minutes. This particular home was as nice but we were there 5 minutes. She didnt like the sellers being there and ruled it out without even seeing the entire house.

The only time the co-op or listing agent is present is if there is a security issue OR its a high end home. In MN I am talking 500K and up and not always for these homes. When I list a home I will not take the listing if the Sellers are planning on staying home for showings. Its not worth the headache.

Where do you live anyway?? I'm up in MN, perhaps we are just more trusting here.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Before changing your locks you better read your lease very thoroughly. In this state the the fire code states that the landlord is required to have a key or a masterkey to every unit under his/her control. If it is discovered that a tenant changed the locks without approval we will drill out the locks and replace them with the required locks, and charge the cost back to the tenant.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Guess what: On Thursday I had a call about an aparment flooding due to water coming through the ceiling. Luckily for me I had the correct key to enter the apartment above. A water pipe had burst open! The tenant is a mediacal intern and was working a 20 hour shift. Calling her would have been useless. She wasnt upset about the plummer coming into her apartment and actually thanked me and said she was gratefull. Just another example of why you can change your locks but get a copy to the landlord.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Many of the houses and co-ops we looked at had the owners at home. The only exceptions were when the owners had already moved out, and the places were empty.

When our previous house was on the market, we were present, and some items were stolen from us. After that, we were obtrusive, and our house still was sold.

I am a firm believer also in not giving your key to anyone. You cannot be too careful nowadays.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

You better check your lease. Our lease clearly states if you change the lock we will put our locks back on and charge you 45 dollars for it. We have to be able to enter a unit in case of an emergency.

I would never ever do something like that without confering with manangement.. And then make sure you get it in writing...


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

> nfllifer says: "Night Crawler is totally nuts! What are you hiding? Perhaps you just have trust issues."

Nightcrawler doesn't have trust issues. He/she has invasion of privacy issues about arrogant landlords/custodians going into his/her apt without timely notice or permission. They get away with it too. I've have lived in many apartment buildings and this is not at all uncommon.

I've had landlords use the flimsiest of excuses to come in when no one was home. I used to refuse to allow custodians to do work in my apt unless I was there. I was always able to arrange to be around, so why should they mind? I don't know these people. Are the bonded? Do they have a criminal record? My concerns were justified one time after the landlord told me he fired one and asked me to call the police if he showed up on the premises. Not everyone who owns/manages property is honest.

>Hopefully our paths will never cross in Real Estate either as a tenant, buyer, or seller. You are all backwards.

You are the one who is backwards. It is arrogant to insult people for wanting to protect their personal property and preserve their privacy. I certainly woudn't want to hire a real estate agent who feels this way.

How many people have keys to YOUR house? I'd be willing to bet not very many.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

I'm a landlord (rental cottage on the property) and I would not rent the cottage to anyone who wouldn't agree to my having a key. Bottom line is, I own the dwelling in which "you" are living. It's my property that is at risk if there is a fire/water damage/boiler problem/emergency. I have rented for over 30 years and have never violated any tenants right to privacy. I do not, nor ever have, entered the residence without reasonable notice or just cause. For you folks out there who believe that a landlord who has keys to your unit/apartment/cottage/house is violating your privacy, the bottom line is you are not the one who has the right to make that decision.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

>I'm a landlord (rental cottage on the property) and I would not rent the cottage to anyone who wouldn't agree to my having a key. For you folks out there who believe that a landlord who has keys to your unit/apartment/cottage/house is violating your privacy, the bottom line is you are not the one who has the right to make that decision.

I agree that it is your property and of course, you should have a key. It is your investment and you have a right to protect it. BUT, my point was not that a landlord shouldn't have access to their property, it was that too many landlords or custodians abuse their authority and enter units without TIMELY NOTICE OR PERMISSION.

I don't have a issue with the landlord who needs to be able to get in to fix a water leak (or see if something is burning). But I DO have a problem with the ones who want to come in for none emergency reasons when I am not home, or who give keys to persons that are not specifically mentioned in the lease.

I'm curious, who watches your house when you go on vacation? How many persons have keys to your place? Are they family, friends, trusted neighbors?

You probably know exactly who has keys and how many. Most property owners would sniff at the thought of having to allow a stranger in their house when they aren't home. Why should renters be any different?

I keep reading about how many rights landlords have, but I don't see much sympathy for renter's privacy rights. The problem for renters is that they don't have the luxury of being able to decide who can (and should) be trusted.

Not all landlords are disrespectful of their tenants privacy, some are very considerate. But I have seen and experienced enough abuses of power to be somewhat cynical. Here are just a few examples:

Landlords walking in without knocking first, while you are sitting in your kitchen having a cup of coffee in your bathrobe (thank goodness for having that much on). Kitchenware, CD's and other items missing, making repairs they didn't forewarn me about in advance. One time they came in and made a repair and left my front door WIDE OPEN when they left. I came home at 11pm and had to ask a neighbor to walk through the apt. with me in case there was a burglar. This particular landlord also left a trail of drywall dust and debris all over my floors when they replaced the windows.

Another time, at another building, I came home from work and noticed the toilet seat lid is up. I was living alone at the time and immediately had the unsettling thought that I might have "company". I called the landlord and he said "yeah" we had to come in and replace the kitchen faucet, I'm on a long distance call, can I call you back?" I had never complained about this faucet leaking. He never returned my call.
It is because of incidents like this, that I (Nightcrawler and others) tend to be "touchy" about security and privacy. If I'm paying my rent on time and keeping someone's property in good repair, this is the LEAST I'm entitled to. This is what the law says anyway.

I would suggest to ANY renter (who has the slightest doubt about their landlords honesty), that they purchase a locking, 4 drawer, fireproof file cabinet to keep their valuables in. Just like they do in bus stops, airports, gyms and anywhere else that one DOESN'T have control over who has access.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

I understand tenants privacy issues. Heres the problem. You are not fixing the problem by changing locks. Tenants are worried about their privacy but dont know their rights. In MN there is a statue about tenants privacy. If its broken a tenant can sue for $100 per incident, a rent reduction, and pay into a rent escrow. If it continues a judge will let you out of your lease and in many towns the rental permit owned by the lanlord would be revoked.

How are the tenants that have had problems or currently have problems going to feel if they dont report this properly and teach the landlord a lesson? I would feel pretty bad if a rape, or murder happend that I could have prevented by reporting violations on myself.

No one has keys to my house yet and why should they? I own my home I do not rent someone else's property. I moved this summer and replaced the original locks of 30 years. I would also have no problems having a responsible party that did things by the book have my keys. I also allowed every agent in half of my state access to my house for sale while I was away. The lock box on my door was set not to operate after 10pm and not before 8am.

Its easy to come off arogant when I am 100% sure of my thoughts being correct. I have been a tenant, lanlord, manager, buyer, buyer of rental property, seller and Realtor. I am able to see the whole picture. I understand concearns but know why its done my way and that my way is correct. I wouldnt rent from someone I didnt trust and if I was a tenant who felt I had been violated I would do something other than posting here.

I screen everyone that works on my property with a national criminal history report. Anything that looks at all bad is a reject.

I also hand out past and current tenant referals with my applications. After hearing of tenant horror stories I realize that my tenats will rent because I am the landlord. I know for a fact that my apartment wasnt always the best fit for location, age, condition, whatever but the tenants wanted a professional lanlord that would not be an issue. They like the way I take care of the property, them, and any situations. They feel comfortable with the background checks and strictness with them as it means they will have decent neighbors.

Another reason lanlords need keys and not phone numbers: It is common for tenats to move out without notice or in the middle of the night. Typically these tenant will have the deposit used up far before a locksmith bill comes in. Last time this happened to I put up my typical late notices and after they hadnt been removed put up a notice I was going to enter the apartment two days later for an inspeciton. Having the key saved my $75.

I understand tenants concearns about privacy and agree there are bad lanlords. Problem is they need to be addressed in stead of covered up. Do something to them. If your not willing to do something dont complain. Changing locks is like putting fresh paint over mold. The mold will just come back sooner or later without addressing it. And so will the crooked landlord.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

I don't NEED a key ... I have a legal set of lock picks and know how to use them. :)

But a landlord has a RIGHT to have keys to THEIR property, and to use them in accordance with the state or local laws.

If you don't like it, camp out under a bridge.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Absolutely...or be a house/condo/duplex/townhouse/PUD owner and you won't have to worry about it.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

It is nice to think (and hope) that most landlords will do the right thing.

Bottom line: "He who has the gold makes the rules".


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Well, Im glad "Dreamgarden" & others understand where I am comming from. No matter what "nfllifer" says, I still dont agree.
I have a friend that owns connected townhouses, side to side , back to back.
One owner was away and a water pipe broke, the townhouses in back and one side were getting water under the baseboards near the floor.
They had to break the owners door down and find where the leak was. OK, That was a very ligitemite problem, but point it, they all owned thier townhouses , did they give keys to all the attatched units? , No? of course not, The problem was solved, the owners come home and were upset about the wole incident but were very appologiec to the neighbors for having water damage.
So if was an apt, with no key, they could just break the door down, same thing as a house. If thier is a fire, EVERYONE knows, NOT TO OPEN THE DOOR....just call fire dept, they will know what to do.

Minor repairs can all be made at times when it is convenient for LL and tenants to be there at the same time.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

OK, right--for $100, I am going to spend the time (take vacation days, make phone calls to find out which paperwork to file, etc.) to sue the person who controls my home (my landlord), all on the flimsy evidence that I (and only I) noticed my toilet seat was up when I came home, and he verbally told me (no witnesses) that he'd gone into my home. Or walked in on my in my bathrobe--he'll just say he knocked and I opened the door. Or he thought there was an emergency, he knocked, and I must not have heard him.

I'm going to win?

It's going to be worth it to go through all that trouble, just to piss him off?

I'm really going to teach a rapist a lesson by trying this? Someone awful enough to commit a serious murder (or even petty theft) isn't going to be phased by my $100 suit. He'll just make my life miserable, starting immediately, so that I move out when my lease is up. And you can be quite sure that he won't OFFER me a new lease when mine is up.

Get real!

The only TRUE recourse a tenant has is to move.

I think it's great that nfllifer is such a responsible landlord and thinks that the LANDLORD ought to provide a reference. BUT...it is really ridiculous to assume that all landlords are like you, and use that assumption to be scornful of other people who are dealing w/ the reality of jerky or intrusive landlords.

"knowing your rights" is one thing; being willing to go through the costs (and they are there, don't kid yourself!) of enforcing them is a completely other thing. IF it is even effective.

Perhaps the only "tenant law" recourse I'd approve of is that a tenant could use such an intrusion as grounds to break the lease--but again, since it'll be a "he said/she said" sort of situation, that'll be abused by deadbeat tenants in a flash, so I don't think that one works, either.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

> nightcrawler1961
"Well, Im glad "Dreamgarden" & others understand where I am comming from"

There are bad tenants, there are always going to be those "feudal" types of landlords out there who believe "might makes right". You are right about townhouses. Because of what your friend went through, I would NEVER own a townhouse, condo or house with an HOA. If I'm not the only one who can have a key, I don't REALLY "own" it, do I? The government can take my house away if I don't pay my taxes, but I sure the heck don't want someone breaking down my door over a water leak.

Whether one actually OWNS the physical property or not, when someone is renting, the tenant does "own" the SPACE within the four walls they have rented. And they DO have as much right to this "space" as the legal owners. After all, they are not living there by the "grace" of the property owner's generosity, otherwise there would be no exchange of MONEY.

> talley_sue_nyc
OK, right--for $100, I am going to spend the time (take vacation days, make phone calls to find out which paperwork to file, etc.) to sue the person who controls my home? "I think it's great that nfllifer is such a responsible landlord and thinks that the LANDLORD ought to provide a reference. BUT...it is really ridiculous to assume that all landlords are like you, and use that assumption to be scornful of other people who are dealing w/ the reality of jerky or intrusive landlords.

My thoughts exactly. Comments like "if you don't like it go live under a bridge" or "be a house/condo/duplex/townhouse/PUD owner and you won't have to worry about it", do little to show a landlords sensitivity about anyone else's interests but their own.

Most people who rent DON'T HAVE THE MONEY OR THE TIME to sue unethical landlords. Nor do they want to "rock the boat" and anger the person who has access to their personal belongings. Unfeeling landlords COUNT on this.

I lived in a building where a tenant found out another tenant had keys to the entire building. This tenant was not on the lease and was known for being a snoop. She would go into other tenants units when they weren't home. The first tenant got out of his lease by contacting the city building inspector regarding the numerous violations he had noticed around the building. He also had some faint mold on the walls of his unit. He used this as an excuse to break his lease and move out. AFTER he moved, he made copies of the pamphlet the Tenants organization had provided him with about what to do if you have this type of problem and who to contact. He left a copy at EVERY SINGLE DOOR in the building! Bless his heart! I'm sorry he didn't stick around to form a tenants union.
It is a shame that there isn't more that a tenant can do besides move or throw good money after bad to sue those who would violate their rights. It would be nice if everyone could afford to own their own home, but unfortunately, not everyone can afford to "eat cake". Those WHO CAN, should not shove a renters "bread" down their throats just because they have the power to do so. The pendulum swings both ways. When people have had enough, they will do what they have to to "even" things out. Can one really blame them?


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

My abusive ex-boyfriend told my apartment manager that he has been living with me and I have been hiding it from her. He asked her for keys to my apt. and she charged him $20.00 but gave him the keys. I have been trying to get him to stay away for months now but he keeps coming back and getting rougher and rougher with me and telling me what could happen to me and my daughter if I call the police on him, I am very afraid of him, his family and friends and very very afraid for my self and my teenage daughter. Since he has had the keys he has been there three times uninvited, let his self in and roughed me up once and forced me to have sex with him on the second visit and the third being this a.m. was dragging me to the bedroom to do it again when someone called the police. They arressted him and then released him and he is back on this property, cops tell me to pack and leave and stay somewhere else and I live here, he does not, now the manager tells me she will not change my locks and I can't either , because I have let him live here and lied about it. Some one tell me what to do , please. This man has never lived with me and even if he had he is not on my lease.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Marty, pls contact a local battered-women's shelter (any crisis hotline will help you find them) for specific help. For a start, they can help you plan for how to physically put yourself where he can't find you.

You can get a restraining order against the guy, and they can help you with the paperwork, etc.

And then your landlord may HAVE to change your locks. (in fact, I'm wondering if your writing the landlord a registered letter telling her that your ex doesn't live with you, is not authorized to have a key to the apartment, etc., wouldn't be enough). In fact, write that letter ASAP, and tell them that for your own safety, they must change the locks, or they will find themselves facing lawsuits should anything happen to you.

And the cops will have to drag him off your property.

Get help. Get LOCAL help. There are people who will help you, I promise there are. Call them. ASAP.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

This is TERRIBLE! Instantly get a restraining order! The court should grant a temp untill you can see a judge. I also would contact an attorney not only to deal with the boy friend but also sue the landlord. Maybe I should drop by and tell them I am your new boyfriend who has been also living there. Would she give me a key?

If you have just the one door I would just replace the lock myself and deal with the bill later. This is serious! I'm so affraid for you!

A lock smith might bill your landlord, or else go to a hardware store. A cheap deadbolt costs around $5-$10 and they have good directions about installing it. You would only need a screw driver.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Do the above advice. Immediately.

Also check out;

http://www.stalkingvictims.com/discuss/phpBB2/

There are a couple of posters there who are very knowledgable and helpful. A lot of what you can do to protect yourself depends on where you live, state laws differ and Canadian laws are different too.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

Nightcrawler: "I live in a 32 family building. The LL has no keys. He has everyones phone numbers and can get in touch with them if need be."

"I live in a mega apt neighborhood, huge tenements, most LL do not take keys."

If that is true, then the property owners in question are idiots. Nightcrawler's solution if there is a problem is for the property owner to go up the fire escape, smash the window, and get in like that, or just wait until the tenants show up (if ever).

Last week we had a complaint of considerable water coming in through the ceiling of a bathroom in a multi-unit (55)apartment building. There are four bathrooms on four floors immediately above the one with the leaky ceiling. We had to go into each unit to find the problem, which was the goofball tenant on the top floor was washing clothes in the tub, left the water running, and then went to work.

If I followed Nightcrawler's technique, I would have had two choices:

1) track down four different tenants, and wait until they showed up (some might be out of town), with potentially thousands of dollars of water damage occurring in the interim; or

2) climb up an ice encrusted fire escape, smash four windows ($100+ each), climb over broken jagged glass without slicing myself open, and then have the tenants complain that there is broken glass & a broken window in sub-zero temperatures. Of course it would then take days to get those windows fixed (for example, try to get a window fixed over a holiday weekend).

Let's look at some other reasons why it is a good idea for the property owner to have keys, instead of doing hundreds of dollars of damage by smashing a window or door to get in, or paying a locksmith $100 or more to come and change the lock:

1) Tenants losing keys;

2) Tenants leaving for the christmas holidays to some other country, leaving a window open that cannot be reached from the outside (potentially causing pipes to freeze & thousands of dollars of damages);

3) Surprise fire inspection from the city (resulting in a fine if the inspection cannot be completed at that time);

4) Surprise housing code inspection from the city (also resulting in a fine if the inspection cannot be completed at that time);

5) Tenants asking for a specific repair to be completed, we arrange for a plumber / electrician to come, tenants are not there at the appointed time, cannot be reached by phone, and the plumber / electrician charges us $150 just to show up and do nothing;

6) Tenants ask for a new appliance, we agree, arrange for a specific delivery time, tenant is not there, so we have to pay a delivery charge for nothing.

We make sure we have keys, but each of these examples actually happened with tenants who thought it was a good idea to change the locks on their own without giving us a copy. In each case they were either charged the full cost of their action plus double penalty, or were evicted.

We change the deadbolt locks for each new tenant. Your property owner is exposing himself to significant potential liability if he did not change your deadbolt locks, and you should insist on them being changed. But if you change them yourself without giving him a copy, you are exposing yourself to significant potential liability if a problem arises and it is difficult to get in, and damage to the building (or to persons) occurs as a result.

We also do a full criminal / credit / background check on maintenance personnel. If they would steal from the tenants, they'd steal from the owner, so it is in our interest to make sure they are 100% ok.

Dreamgarden: The property owner does not want to take your crappy stuff (kitchenware? old CDs? I don't think so). You are much more likely to get robbed by someone you know. If you don't like property owners who are proactive and try to maintain things to a high standard (ie fix stuff before it becomes an emergency, or install brand new windows in your case), then there are many buildings where you can move to where the owners never fix anything, and could not care less if you had a leaky faucet or drafty windows.

Nightcrawler "If you lived in a house would you let a real estate agent bring prospective buyers a tour through your house while you were at work?": Of course, that is standard practice.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

i don't mind giving the landlord keys -- since i downloaded a program to my pc that,when my webcams are connected,any motion that my cams detect causes them to snap several frames persecond and this security software then immediately sends those pictures to my email address.those cams remain aimed at my front door at all times when i'm gone..i leave my pc on,the cams and the software program activated. anyone comes in,those cams snap pictures of anything creating movement,whether it be landlord,maintenance,burglar,sonny or cher.

and destroying my cams and pc won't protect their i.d.//cause the pictures are sent to my email address and that's what'll get 'em caught!! i love internet technology!!


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

You love internet technology so much but apparently you haven't even been on the internet since '05. ROTFL. What kind of sleep aids do you use? Maybe you should cut down on your dosing?


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

I have a friend at work who moved out of her house because she had a real creep of a LL. She and her fiancee were asleep in bed one night and around midnight/one o'clock she felt like someone was in the apartment with them and when she turned on the lamp her LL was walking around. She yelled and said, "What the ---- are you doing in here at night and in the dark?!" and his response? "I'm making inspections." How creepy! She broke the lease, demanded her safety deposit or was going to call the police, received the deposit in full and moved out. I don't blame her! Who knows what he was really doing in there? She said she is ALWAYS going to change her locks and NOT give the LL a key. I can't blame her a bit!


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

One of the best ways to deal with this is to ensure the place you lease has a privacy lock. This is a turn lock that can only be opened from the inside - there is no keyhole on the outside. Most states now require this kind of privacy lock on the exterior doors of all rental units apartments or otherwise. This way if you are home, you turn the lock and no one with a key can get in - which prevents landlords or ex boyfriends from walking in on you and the landlord can still access the apartment while you are out if there is an emergency repair need. I also recommend installing these on the exterior doors of your home even if you are the homeowner for the same reason.


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RE: Ok.... I am changing my locks!

To all of you who say, "Just break the door down" for emergencies. Do you realize how much damage that does to the door, the frame and even the walls around the frame? Have you ever seen what's left after the fire department goes through a door?

A well-installed solid entry door, opening outward, with a well-installed deadbolt can't be easily kicked in ... would you want it to be easy to break open? You've maybe seen it on TV crime shows, where the door and locks have been deliberately weakened so the star can pop it open with a studly kick.

And do you realize that it will make it IMPOSSIBLE to lock your place back up after the emergency until the door is replaced and the frame is repaired. You will come home to a gaping hole in the wall and some plywood screwed over it (if you are lucky) until the landlord can get a replacement door and someone to install it.

I have had tenants change locks without telling me and without giving me a copy of the new key. I have evicted tenants for it. Landlord tenant law is very slanted towards the landlord - who has many thousands of property at risk - versus the tenant who may have a few thousands in possessions.


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