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Old 10-17-2008, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
467 posts, read 1,132,470 times
Reputation: 154
Default I think my landlord just harassed me?

This morning at 8:45am, my super knocks on my door and says that the plumbers who are renovating the apartment above me need to get access to my apartment because they need to rip out the wall to get access to a pipe.

Fine, I said, but I have class today, and I don't want them here when I am not here, so can they do it later? I really have to go to class and I can't have them come right now. He said hold on, I'll find out and be right back.

Three minutes later my phone rings and it's the SECRETARY at the management company. She says they need access to my apartment, and I ask, in a calm voice, if should could please explain to me what it is they need to do, and how much time they would need. SHE starts yelling at me, saying that I MUST let them in, etc, that I have no rights, that if I don't let them in I should start looking for a new apartment. She hands me over to the "managing agent," who is the woman I've dealt with in all my leasing issues. SHE starts screaming at me saying I can be evicted, that she is at the moment drawing up a legal letter of some sort, etc.

I don't know at what point during the conversation they informed me that it was an EMERGENCY, but I can promise you that my super did not say such a thing. He made no note of emergency, and I know I have a legal right to refuse entrance and reschedule if it is NOT an emergency. I know that I have NO legal rights in an emergency. But they did not inform me that it was, so then they proceeded to harass me, threatening eviction (I don't know that THAT is legal, sure haven't read anything saying it is) and generally making me feel unsafe and like my management company was against me.

Then I cried.

Then I called them back (after I was hung up on) and calmly said to the secretary that I was fine with letting them in, but I didn't know it was an emergency and I really wish she wouldn't yell at me. She started yelling again, and I told her she made me cry. "I MADE YOU CRY! I MADE YOU CRY! YOU'RE FREAKING GONNA MAKE ME CRY, HERE!" then she hands me over to the managing agent again and I say listen, there is no issue here, I just wish you wouldn't have yelled at me and you'd let me explain what happened (which she NEVER did), and she said she had no time to deal with me, etc, hung up again.

I just feel like I was unreasonably harassed. Granted, this was not bad at all compared to what some people go through, but I have been calling number after number (civil rights, attorney general, etc) and I can't get anyone to talk to me. It's just not fair that they can threaten me like that without any reason. I don't know if it's even legal to threaten eviction regardless of emergency, but the point is it's not like I threw myself in front of my door while a fire was brewing in my room, refusing entry. The super asked if they could come and I said that I'd be in class. Then the head construction guy came down and was SO nonchalant, acting like there was NO emergency, said, oh I'll give you some time, how about I come back in a half an hour. Right. The way the management was yelling at me, you'd think the whole building was going to be flooding. But no. It was not even a big deal to them. I think they even made up that it was an emergency when in fact it wasn't.

So what should I do? I really wished I could have resolved this with them at the management company, but they seem SO angry at me for no reason, when we had a great relationship before. Maybe it'll blow over to them, but I don't think it's fair that I am treated like this and it goes unnoticed. I don't really want to take them to COURT, but are there any other options?

Thanks, sorry it was so long.
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Chicago, Illinois
3,014 posts, read 5,631,860 times
Reputation: 1301
it was hot air yet is still made you fear them. i guess that's NEW YORK for ya! i bet in 95% of the rest of the nation that kind of treatment would not occur. you were harassed but it is what it is now. who would want strange men, who presumably, could steal things or go through your personal items in their home when no one is present? it's perfectly rational what you did, just be prepared for the next time. I think you are now.
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Old 10-17-2008, 10:09 AM
 
1,097 posts, read 2,329,292 times
Reputation: 599
Just let it go. You don't have a case. There's no law that prevents someone from hurting your feelings. You were refusing entry to your place; you were probably justified in doing so, but the cost of having the plumber wait around or make a separate trip (both of which cost the apartment money) might constitute an "emergency." And that's why the contractor doesn't care - he gets paid either way. And the super has to deal with the tenants directly - he doesn't want to be a jerk, he just kicks the problems upstairs. Were they right to yell at you like that? No, but you need to get a thicker skin. This doesn't have anything to do with civil rights, and the AG isn't going to get involved over an argument about entry to your apartment.
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Old 10-17-2008, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Pelion, South Carolina/orig. from Cape May, NJ
1,115 posts, read 2,112,504 times
Reputation: 1084
I feel for you, because people in this world can be real a-holes, but please don't tell these jerks that they made you cry. All it does it make you look like a wuss, and you lose any shred of respect from them that may be there. Stay calm, raise your voice at them (yell right back if you have to) but NEVER burst out in tears. That automatically gives them the impression you're weak and they'll think they have the upper hand.
And remember, any time someone gives you a ration of s*** over the phone, you always have the option of hanging up on them!
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
467 posts, read 1,132,470 times
Reputation: 154
Thanks for your understanding, everyone.
The reason why I cried was not because they hurt my feelings. Both the secretary (who might have been breaking company protocol by speaking to me the way she did and making threats as she did) and the managing agent threatened me by telling me I would be evicted if I didn't let them in, and that I should find a new apartment, etc. It scared me because it was an unfair threat and I didn't like to know that my management company can turn so volatile in three seconds flat.
What's worse is that they gave me no time to explain. My super did not say it was an emergency. It says nothing in my lease that I have to allowed work that is non-emergency. The management called me up and they didn't even say right away that it was an emergency. If they had, I would have allowed it. They yelled at me a lot first before they said so. There are different rights emergency vs. not. It's not fair that they led me to believe that it wasn't, and treated me like it was an emergency and that I was refusing entry in an emergency. But the worse part was that they wouldn't even let me explain myself, they hung up on ME. TWICE.

So that's why I cried. And I did NOT cry on the phone to any of the management. I merely told her I had. I don't really think crying or telling someone you cried gives them an upper hand, it's just an emotion. It doesn't mean I'm any easier to sway. Sometimes you can't control tears coming out of your eyes regardless of how you feel. You're right in that I shouldn't have told them, but it shouldn't affect how they think of me, and it if does, they'll be surprised, then, when I fight right back. Also, I never raised my voice or yelled, I never burst into tears, I simply talked to both people in a really calm manner. The secretary even had the nerve to accusing me of having a 'tone' with her, when I was asking her how long they would take and what exactly needed to be done (since no one had explained either). They were both really out of line.

And I don't think I really have a legal case, I don't want to take it to court anyway. I just want an apology. I think it's illegal to unfairly threaten eviction, anyway. Starting at the beginning of the year, I am going on month-to-month with them, and now I am concerned about my rights and protecting myself without a lease.

And this is why this city is filthy and disgusting, and I can't wait to move away from it.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:09 AM
 
Location: South Tampa, FL.
1,367 posts, read 3,376,363 times
Reputation: 407
Report them to the BBB (Better Business Bureau). Maybe they will re-consider how they treat their residents. As an assistant property manager (in Fl. but in this case it doesn't matter where you are from), I would never yell at a tenant, no matter what the situation is. That was uncalled for and rude. Go online www.bbb.org and report them. It may not get you far or anything, but it'll make them see how they upset you. Is there a management company that runs your building? If so, call someone above these people, let them know that you contacted the BBB and express your concern.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Montrose, CA
3,031 posts, read 5,329,484 times
Reputation: 1816
Drop it. Forget about reporting it to the BBB, that won't do anything. You got your feelers hurted, oh well. Shake it off and move on.
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:01 PM
 
2,486 posts, read 5,806,900 times
Reputation: 1831
Quote:
Originally Posted by mquintana View Post
report them to the bbb (better business bureau). Maybe they will re-consider how they treat their residents. As an assistant property manager (in fl. But in this case it doesn't matter where you are from), i would never yell at a tenant, no matter what the situation is. That was uncalled for and rude. Go online www.bbb.org and report them. It may not get you far or anything, but it'll make them see how they upset you. Is there a management company that runs your building? If so, call someone above these people, let them know that you contacted the bbb and express your concern.
bingo!
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:09 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,044 posts, read 6,083,846 times
Reputation: 3535
The BBB wont DO anything, except record the complaint. I would just move to a better building if you can find one. I hate having to move but there is no perfect place to live and life just isn't fair.
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:14 PM
 
2,486 posts, read 5,806,900 times
Reputation: 1831
Tell everyone you know about their crappy service. Bad news and horror stories spread fast and you'd be surprised by the impact. Or...better yet, go to the local news station and tell your story. Reporters devour this stuff.
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