Posted by Dawn on October 31, 2000 at 11:34:56:
In Reply to: Changing Locks posted by Pattynn on October 30, 2000 at 14:45:05:
: We live in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood in Brooklyn. I really do not know if we are rent controlled. Can we change the locks and not give our landlady the key? She keeps coming in the apartment unannounced.
Hi. I solved that the minute I moved in, I changed the cylinder. That way, the lock still looked the same on the outside but the inner workings weren't. And I played polite, very yes yes yes when the landlord would get up the nerve to ask for a key, and I would conveniently "forget" and the landlord ended up never getting a copy of the key. As the landlord worked up the nerve to ask, I would politely ask why they needed to get in (I'd look as interested/concerned/attentive in their answer as I could be) and I would ask could they call me when they needed to get in and gave them my work, cell and beeper numbers (so they had no excuse as to why they couldn't contact me). The landlord, I believe, is supposed to have some way of getting into your apartment in case of an emergency (like a gas leak or pipe break) but if it borders on abusive then this right can be curbed somewhat. Write a short note asking if the landlord could agree that if you could have at least 24 hours' notice before any time the landlord needs to gain entry. Send it certified or federal express, to make sure you get some kind of proof the letter was received and keep that in a bank safety deposit box along with the copy of your lease. FIRST THING THOUGH -- Check your lease about landlord entry then check with your state regulations regarding your landlord's right of entry. If repairs need to be made, then the landlord has his reason to come in but still should give you some kind of proper notice and timeframe to his/her arrival/departure. Make sure you pay your rent on time, as this may be just one of the reasons the landlord may use to exercise his/her "power". Good luck.
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