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More landlord craziness: locking our porch

December 5th, 2011
landlord

As I've written before, our landlord is crazy. Lately she's taken to locking us off our porch. (There's an old fashioned keyhole lock, and we don't have the key.) This is kind of annoying, especially when you're carrying laundry to the porch to hang up, and you find it's locked. She says she's locking it because we're intentionally going out on the porch when she's in her bathroom.

We've gone back and forth on this over the past couple weeks, including calling the police (who came, she wasn't home, they said to call if she did it again). Over the weekend we decided to do something about it: we put a temporary device in the keyhole that forces the door to remain in the unlocked position:

Apparently she came up to try and lock our porch again last night, and was very upset by the lock. We received the following letter:

Apt 3
63 Pinckney
Somerville, MA 02145
10:02pm, Sunday December 04, 2011

Julia, Jeff, Hassan, Celeste

REMOVE THE LOCK YOU PUT ON MY BACK PORCH IMMEDIATELY

You have no right to put a lock on my property.

Remove the lock immediately. Any damage to the door when I remove it tomorrow will be your responsibility. If the lock is not removed by tomorrow I plan to take it off at your expenses and seek legal counsel. I have not given you permission to put a lock on my property.

Owner

(image)

We called the police, and they said we should call them again if she locks it again.

We sent her the following response:

12.4.2011

Dear Dr. Obi,

Please note that the lock we have placed on the porch door does not change or damage the door in any way. It only prevents you from locking us off our porch, which is part of our apartment.

You do not have the right to deny us access to parts of our apartment.

If you provide us with a copy of the key to the the lock that you have been using, so that you cannot lock us off the porch, we will be happy to remove our lock.

We take no responsibility for any damages you cause in removing our lock. Again, we will be happy to remove our lock and leave the door in its original condition at the end of our lease, or when you provide us with a key to the original lock.

If you lock the porch door without giving us a copy of the key, we will call the police.

Regards,
Hassan, Celeste, + Jeff

(image)

Before going to bed I went out to look at the door. Unhappy that she couldn't lock the door, she seems to have settled for duct taping it shut:

This morning I checked the door again before going to work. She had a handyman taking the doorknob apart to remove the lock. He asked me not to take a picture of him.

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