We are having chronic issues with homeless transients coming into our building.  My fellow tenants feel trapped inside.  We called the police who then drove by and just turned their siren on – didn’t even get out of the car!   I called 911 again this morning and they got him out with lots of yelling, but he just came back in.


This seems to be drug-related being that we have to clean up paraphernalia every morning.


We have asked our landlord to put a better lock on the front doors, and even offered to pay part of the cost, but no movement towards that yet. He has made it very clear to us that he is not going to purchase better locks for our door.  We are beside ourselves here and would appreciate any advice you had to offer. 




Cartoon by Jim Meadows. Jimtoon.com



Hi, Anonymous.  Yes, this is a chronic problem and it seems to have gotten worse in the last couple of weeks.  These things do come in waves, mind you, but I can offer you a few suggestions that I feel will help: Contact the owner of your building, and or the management company, and send them pictures of all of this.  Insist on having the owner send a locksmith over to find vulnerabilities with your front doors, and have those weak points remedied right away.  Have the locksmith also add a security bar next to each lock that will prevent it from being picked with credit cards.  But more importantly (and this seems to be the greater problem, everywhere) write a note to your neighbors asking them not to ring anyone in who they don’t know, especially those who are posing as food delivery personnel.  If they can’t give you the name of someone you know in your building, tell them you are on the phone with 911 right now. 


Do not place any notes on the front door facing the street for others to read as they walk by.  Unfortunately, everyone can read nowadays, including the homeless, so don’t post an invitation for them to come back.


This is why I’m 100% against literacy.


If you are unlucky enough to have a deadbeat landlord, you and your neighbors can make it VERY CLEAR to them that the entire building will not be paying rent until your front doors are fully secured.  Lack of building security is cause for a rent strike but make sure you place your rent or maintenance fees in a cashier check, or a CD, in case this ever goes to court – but it won’t!  They will have to secure your building properly, trust me!


Lastly: Don’t be afraid to play hardball with these knuckleheaded owners.  I’ve seen my fair share of them in my 40-plus years of being a Building Superintendent – Don’t get me Aggie-vated!!!


There is power in numbers.


Please write Aggie at dearaggienyc@gmail.com for your Superintendent and neighborhood issues.. 

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