Fresh Air

Because my landlord let himself into my apartment yesterday, I am letting fresh air in through the open windows in every room of my apartment tonight. My landlord came in yesterday with no notice, even though he is supposed to give me 24 hours of such notice. He came in like the secretive snake that he is, and then he broke my air conditioning. Why? I am guessing so he can claim I broke it when I move out in a couple of months, and thus, keep some or all of my deposit.

I despise my landlord.

Because my landlord broke my air conditioning, I can wait no longer to find a lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant relations in my city. While I pondered my landlord situation that has gone from bad to worse, I unlocked and opened every window in my unit–thieves, rapists, allergies and errant bugs be damned.

My windows are wide open a night when, thankfully, a high pressure of some sort is stalled right over my apartment. The air that wafts through the screens of my windows is fresh and free of humidity. If I close my eyes and will it to be so, I can almost believe I live in the Pacific Northwest, and it is the third week in July.

But it is the first weekend in May in South Florida, and my landlord has ruined my Friday by coming into my apartment and sneaking around and breaking my air conditioner.

I particularly despise my landlord because once, when I complained about a problem with the air conditioning, he sent his workers in, of course without notice, and to teach me a lesson about complaining, they peed in a wastebasket in my guest room–something I didn’t discover until it was a week later because I have few reasons to enter that room unless I have guests. A week later I had to go into the guest room because the smell suddenly became apparent and so overwhelming.

My landlord is disgusting.

That was when I became a little afraid of my landlord and what else he might do when he enters my apartment without my knowledge or permission. Now I set inconspicuous traps every day to let me know if and when he comes in. The traps work. I always know when he has been inside my apartment.

Tonight my windows are open because my horrible landlord broke my air conditioning. My music hangs in the breeze and perhaps even entertains my neighbors who now hear it as well, because my windows are open and the air that wafts through the screens carries the notes and harmonies and lyrics to those living below me and next to me. No one complains.

My landlord is a cartoon of all bad landlords everywhere. He ruins my day every day he is a part of my day. I only have to entertain his awfulness for a few more months. Then I wish a plague of infestation on him on the day I move out. I wish meticulous housing inspectors to descend upon him, and then for him to have to wallow in unending legal miasmas, once I am far from this place.

I am never renting again from an independent landlord who is on the brink of bankruptcy because he couldn’t sell his cheaply renovated apartments and decided to rent them, instead, to tenants who break their leases and flee his shoddy building at the first opportunity.

Tonight, however, I have no choice but to let the breeze caress me as I share my music with my neighbors through my open windows. My neighbors who remain here in my building seem content to listen to my music. Each of us knows our days as neighbors are numbered. And that is too bad, because we will miss one another, at least for a while. And then we will never give each other or our nightmarish landlord another moment’s thought.






16 responses to “Fresh Air”

  1. Lynne Avatar

    Besides the whole scariness about someone sneaking around in your personal space, there is the dog to consider too. I’m sure she doesn’t appreciate a stranger coming into her space either. Well, my dog wouldn’t, anyway.

  2. James Tracy Avatar
    James Tracy

    Depending on how much the deposit was, I wouldn’t pay the last months rent. I would tell him to keep it as payment on what I owed. This way there is no fight trying to get back money he owes. I also would pack up every single thing I owned except for what was needed to live in the apartment, lest he come in and steal from me knowing I was leaving in a month. He may steal anyway by letting himself in the aprtment and then claim “You must have left your door unlocked”. Please be wise as a serpent but gentle as a dove as you plan your escape.


  3. Sam Greenfield Avatar
    Sam Greenfield

    Change at least one of the locks. Let him sue you for the key if he needs entrance.

  4. Jessie Avatar

    Put up a giant banner inside that says I CAN SEE AND HEAR EVERYTHING YOU DO. That should stop for one day at least.

  5. Superbee Avatar

    I’m a landlord who specializes in Landlord-Tenant relationships. Besides echoing the comment of not paying the last months’ rent, (because, if you’re already moving out, it makes no sense to have him file an action to evict you.) I’d say write him a letter and serve it on him via certified U.S. Mail, regarding the broken a/c and the workers peeing in the wastepaper basket. Document this stuff.

  6. Superbee Avatar

    Sorry. Not Landlord. Lawyer.

  7. L Avatar

    Assuming your door has a dead lock, change the bottom door knob (get one with a key lock, the cost is under 20 bucks) you can take off the old knob and put on the new one by yourself. Get the right kind of screw driver (with the cross on the end?) also buy a little hand held drill if you need the “turning strength.” Then when you ASK the evil landlord over, leave the new door knob unlocked. All other times, lock it all up. He doesn’t need to know why you installed a knob that has a key – if he asks, tell him! I’ve done the same thing for my apartment …
    Sorry all that happened to you – yet you are smarter than that creep and will move on to a more logical situation. Best of luck.


  8. mur Avatar

    Your landlord creeps me out. The same key that lets him in when you’re not there will let him in when you’re there asleep. Superbee is right about documenting everything. But moving out sounds good too. Best of luck!

  9. Angie Avatar

    I had the same problem when I rented an apartment, landloards and workers coming in while I was away. I put a deadbolt on the door and the problem was solved.
    The landlord complained about the lock the next day saying that a fire could break out and they would have no way to get in. I told them that if a fire should break out, I would replace the paper thin door for them at my own expense. That never happened.
    Best of luck to you for the next few months.

  10. JoeInVegas Avatar

    When I rented the first thing I did was change the deadbolt, and not give the landlord a key. After all, don’t know if the last tenant had copies.

  11. savannah Avatar

    i wish you could just walk away right now, sugar! you’re in my thoughts. stay safe. xo

  12. Julie Avatar

    We usually change the locks when we first move in. A few years ago, I lived with a friend in her grandparents’ home. (They were deceased.) Her mother would stop by to check on things and proceed to check out every room in the house — even mine. That’s when I installed a lock on my bedroom door.

  13. Woozie281 Avatar

    Before you leave try and put a fish somewhere that it will stink to high heaven but be very, very hard to get to.

    Put poop on the car air filter thingy….he probabaly takes care of his car like his apartments so he won’t notice for a while until it starts stinking.


  14. Anny Avatar

    That would freak me out of my own skin, if there is one thing I prize highly, it’s my privacy.

    My first instinct would be to find a new friend with a big scary dog and borrow it to have in the apartment for the landlord’s next little visit. I’d love to see his sorry self faced with a protective german shepard once he opened that door 🙂 Sure would teach him a good lesson!

    That said, I do not advocate the use of animals for any retaliative action even though it can be very tempting in certain situations. I’d end up trying to catch the prick red handed myself and have backup.

    I strongly echo changing the lock. I do it myself when renting a new apartment giving the keys only once to the landlord. Never had any questions about it and the topic shouldn’t arise. The only way it can is when a landlord tried to enter your premises without your knowledge so, at that point if you have a shady landlord, they know you’re not going to make it too easy for them.

    I feel for you. Good luck. Hope you’re out of there real soon!

  15. Lex Avatar

    UGH! I like Sam’s suggestion.