Living In Fear

Kelly Maida

© Copyright 2021 by Kelly Maida

Photo of a mouse on dishes.

A story about a Tenant that was bullied by neighbors and mistreated by her landlord.

I am writing this because of a series of unfortunate events in my life. However this last event is what makes me finally speak out about the suffering and torment I have been going through. I was renting an apartment from a landlord who stood by and watched me suffer from his other tenant in his building. He stood by and did absolutely nothing. Not to mention I always had to beg the landlord to fix anything. It got to a point where he just stopped fixing things and just giving excuses.

I ask you this question and please really think about it! What is the price of your freedom? What is the cost for you to live in safety? If people stand by and watch you be victimized then they are at fault? Why do people stand by and do nothing? Do you believe people should suffer in fear? Why is this allowed to happen? These are all the questions that have kept me up at night. My nightmare of a situation actually began two years. The first time I rented from this landlord. The neighbor that also lived in my building did not work and she would get drunk and have people over and would yell and scream. Her son would come over and he would scream at her. One day I saw the cops come and take him. I tried to find another place to live but unfortunately covid had just started and literally no-one was renting. So I asked my landlord if I could transfer into another apartment. He transferred me to another place. Right off the get go I found several problems when i moved in. The place was a mess. Dirt all over the floors it had not been clean. Mouse poop was all over the kitchen cabinets and I could hear mice in the drop ceilings so above my head and squirrels. Also there was no window on the basement. The particular window with no window on it had a set of stairs that led to my apartment. It let you to a set of stairs that you could walk up and then a door that had no lock on it so anyone could get in. I told one of the maintenance workers and they said this window was like this for 15 years and when the neighbor gets locked out he kicks the window in. Later I found out that was a lie. The neighbor had no door to the cellar. They were just giving me a hard time and not wanting to fix it. Then the landlord told me it was not in my lease contract for him to take care of mice or squirrels and this was the start of his favorite word. Everytime I started to ask for things he would say it was not in my lease contract. I had to basically tell him im moving out just for him to put a board up where there was no window. The maintenance man said he had a squirrel cage and the landlord would not call pest control so the maintenance man put a cage up in the crawl space on the neighbors side. Then one day I called maintenance for some more issues and he replied to me oh your the lady with all the complaints. And this is how they talked about me. They talked about me to the neighbors saying I am crazy. Then started my neighbor that lived in the same building. He would have parties almost every night. As soon as I moved in this was happening.

The neighbors that lived in nearby apartments and houses all informed me that the landlord is well aware of my neighbor partying. They have all called to complain but he never does anything about it. So I tried to knock on the neighbors door asking him if he could please keep the noise down. The neighbor told me to buy earphones and slammed the door in my face. The neighbors warned me to be careful that this man had a meth lab in his apartment. The told me his name and I did notice he was arrested for meth as well as stealing and a prositution ring. The parties that the neighbor threw started to get worse. I could hear the neighbor screaming at women and hitting them. I called the cops but the neighbor would always have an excuse or just not answer the door. The woman would not cooperate; they were too afraid of him. The cops told me that this is a problem for my landlord. They told me that they get several calls from other tenants about this landlord. That all of his apartments have the same issues with noise problems. So I started to call my landlord and he would tell me to call the cops. I told them what the cops said. After a few more times of calling the landlord he told me he knows all about what goes on with my neighbor. He always had an excuse for everything. While I had to sit in fear. In fear of wondering if my landlord is cooking drugs then could this place catch on fire? Could the place blow up? Can you imagine living like this? What would you do if you were in my shoes? I would cry myself to sleep. Istarted feeling like giving up on life. I went to out patient rehabs while living in this apartment. It only gets worse from here. The cops would come by for different issues and try to arrest this man but he would not open the door. My apartment had drop ceilings and in the drop ceiling there was holes in some of the tiles. So when the neighbor would throw parties and run around my ceilings would shake and sometimes pieces of wood or dirt would come down into my kitchen. I told maintenance but they made fun of me and said when they checked his side of the apartment that there was no damage. This continued and the cops would show up at my neighbors for his parties and the neighbor got away with it. Then I kept calling the landlord and he said that he was not going to renew the neighbors lease. But he never said when that would be and again he was just brushing off the issue. So again I sat in complete fear. Fear of my neighbor and the noise was so much that I could not sleep. Then one night the neighbor yelled and screamed at some woman for taking his phone. Another woman was there then they began to hit and fight each other. So the cops came. This time the neighbor took off. However the cops caught up with him down the road. They said he was arrested on different charges for stealing. But now I smelled an odor that was like burnt rubber and smoke was all over my apartment i was so scared and something told me to run outside and call the police so i did. The fire department showed up. No-one answered the door so they had to break the door. It is a good thing they did because a woman was there and she over dosed on drugs. From what they said they got their just in time and they were able to revive her. At some point the woman came outside and talked to me and the cop that was there how scared she was of my neighbor. She said he was cooking crack cocaine and this is what he always does. She said she just wanted to go home and asked the cop for a right. But he said he could not. It seemed like the woman was calm and then she went inside and the cops left and the fire department and rescue team were gone by now.

Then a little while later this woman went crazy and came over to my door banging on it and yelling why didnít you help me. She was screaming for help. Then she threatened me. So then I call the cops and the woman at this point was just acting out of it. I could still smell the awful fumes in my apartment and they were making me feel sick. I asked the police officer on what I should do. He suggested that I stayed at a hotel. So I did. Can you imagine this? Paying rent to live next to this circus show? And then I had to pay to stay in a hotel. I later asked my landlord for reimbursement and he said no. That it was not his responsibility. Even though I had nowhere else to move to, I told the landlord I am out. I am moving out and will not tolerate this anymore. After a year of this abuse, I just could not take it anymore. I was starting to get physically sick. Having to talk to more and more therapists. My lease was almost up anyways i had two months left. Well technically a month left. So the landlord said that the neighbor was in jail and he would evict him. Oh now you want to do something after a whole year of torment. He did serve the neighbor eviction papers. However once the neighbor was out of jail, the neighbor blamed everything on me and said he was going to break into my apartment. Now I have something else to worry about. He said this on more than one occasion. Can you imagine living alone in your apartment and now having to worry that you will be attacked by your neighbor? I told this to my landlord and they said oh donít worry he wonít do that. Well how does he know this for sure? Finally after a month that neighbor did leave. And when maintenance was working on his apartment they were hammering so hard that nasty dust and wood went all over my kitchen and food and my catís food. This happened because of the drop ceilings that have holes in my apartment. I had a cyst on my stomach and told maintenance that I am in pain and canít keep constantly bending over to clean. They did not believe me and they were upset at me for calling the landlord and were snotty to me. They did not even care that I was in pain. So then a new tenant moves in about a week later. First night the new tenant is there, water was rushing down my ceiling all over my floor like a pipe burst. I called the landlord right away. He said he would call the neighbor and then call me back. He told me that the new tenant had over flowed the tub but it wont happen again and they will have someone come out to look at the leak. So the next day maintenance comes by and pulls off the tile and says well i donít see any pipes so I am not sure what happened. He said that the previous person before me had leaks as well in that apartment and I could tell from the stains on the tiles. He said the tiles were old and told them to change the tiles but not sure why they did not. I then asked if he would look at the neighbors but he said they know what the leak is from and it wonít happen again. He did say he would change the tile. However excuse after excuse came up. The maintenance man got hurt or something happened. And this went on for a month. I then talked to the neighbor and she told me the leak was from her friend taking a shower without using a shower curtain and the floor is curved or something.

All I know is that when their is a leak it should be checked. Especially with the old drop tile ceiling that i had throughout the apartment. Oh i forgot to mention that the window in the cellar that had a board on it, was off again. According to the neighbor next door it was off for three months. She said stray cats were going in my cellar. The reason I did not notice the window right away is that it was not on my side of the house. It was on my neighbor's side. I brought this up because this is another thing that I had to ask them to fix again but they said they would put a board on but not a lock. I said then anyone could get in the cellar. So the new neighbor told me that the old neighbor that lived there before her showed up one night. She caught him near the cellar. And we both complained to the landlord. After a while of complaining they finally put a lock on the window.

Why do we have to beg to get anything repaired at this apartment. And then the fun really began. Beeís nest were all over the back of the house. I started getting beeís in my apartment. I am not just talking about a couple. I canít even tell you how many that I saw. The new neighbor and I complained for two months. The landlord said he would get an exterminator. Then excuses started. He said well the exterminator will not be here for a month. Meanwhile, I am freaking out now because beeís keep entering my apartment. I just have a question? How would he feel if this was his place? How would you feel about this? So now I have beeís in apartment, Wet tiles on my ceiling from where there was a roof leak and it still was not fixed. Next my lights in kitchen and living room started short circuiting. At this point it was hard to sleep again. Now I was nervous that I would get bit by a bee in my sleep. I started getting panic attacks. One day the attack was so bad I went to the doctorís and the doctor had to do tests on me and referred me to a heart specialist. I did not know what to do I gave notice to the landlord that I was moving. I also gave him a list of all the things wrong in the apartment. I then called codes. I am glad that I called codes because when I did we walked around the house and found a large beeís nest on my back door, not to mention the back screen door was broke. I had no idea. Not to mention I was never able to open any of my windows they were all so disgusting. Like I said my apartment was never cleaned and it looked like spider eggs in between the window and screen. Not to mention the screens had little holes and one screen was completely broke. Codes came and wrote down all of the violations. It appeared it was two pages full of violations. Now since I did this my new neighbor that lived in my building would tell me how the landlord calls me crazy and that the fire department did not break the door in. I said that is funny because I have the police report from that night. Things just got real ugly. Maintenance started bullying me. They asked to show the apartment and I said remember how I have a cyst and I am in a lot of pain, I canít have people in my apartment. Maintenance told me well if you keep pushing us we will push right back at you? I said how am I pushing? I am sick. I had to get a doctorís note because they did not believe me.

I finally got out of that hell. I honestly did not think I would survive anymore at that apartment. My weight suffered. I was 113 pounds and doctors began to worry about me. I was getting bad physical symptoms from the stress and anxiety that I was suffering from. Is this really the world that we live in? As if it is not bad enough that we are in a pandemic, is this treatment that I went through really necessary? Are they proud of themselves for bullying a woman like this? Does that make everyone feel more superior? To really put the icing on the cake, once I moved out they refused to give me back my security deposit. They had all kinds of excuses. One excuse was that I moved out before the lease date. Which is a lie. I gave them proper notice. It was a two month notice. I moved out exactly on the date of my lease expiration. Oh and the other excuse was their was damage. That is funny because a codes inspector came in and thoroughly inspected the place. Not to mention I took pictures of the place on my final day and I had people come through. I knew they were very cheap people but I did not know that they were also scam artists. It is so sad that people have to go through this. However I feel that when there is injustice such as this, we canít let this go. I mean if I do not get an attorney and fight fo my rights and tell my story then what does that say about me? Should they really be allowed to continue to do this people? In my opinion when you stand by and see a crime, or any kind of injustice and you do nothing then your guilty too! If I say nothing then this will continue to happen to other people. Can you imagine how many other people have done this too. All I know is that no-one should ever live in fear. No-one should feel afraid to sleep at night. Or neglected and mistreated by their landlord. I mean why do we pay rent if the landlord is not even doing there part? If we continue to let people bully us when does it end? I say we can take a stance and I will tell everyone what happened to me until someone listens. And that is what I am doing now. Calling attorneyís and I am ready to stand up for myself and to tell my story.

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