Reader Mail: Dangerous Tenants

2/12/2008:

Today, we have a long and controversial letter sent in by a Hoboken411 reader about some “suspicious” characters hanging out in their building.

What do you think they should do?

hoboken-creepy-characters.jpg“To whom it may concern (since all residents of Hoboken should be informed):

The tenants of a certain building on Monroe street have been having problems with one tenant throughout the course of a year.

Most of the residents of this building have gone through the brokers at Liberty Realty. However, we were not informed that the building allowed Section 8 and low income housing to occupy the apartments, even though we asked beforehand. When the Realtors initially displayed the apartments, potential renters (who have become tenants) asked questions regarding the history of the building (Is Section 8 allowed here? What crimes have been committed in the building? What cautions do the landlord take to protect his tenants? Etc, etc, etc…) Currently, there has been one troublesome tenant (lets just call her Tenant X) who has been terrorizing the entire building with the bad crowd she brings in.

Three months ago, a tenant came home to find 3 men masked in ski masks waiting outside of Tenant X’s apartment. The tenant ran outside the building to call the Hoboken Police Department while the 3 masked men took pursuit of the tenant. The assailants then ran back into the apartment building. HPD arrived and entered the building to find the men hiding in Tenant X’s apartment. Unbelievably, HPD escorted the men out of the building and told them to go home. The names of the assailants were never taken even though it was obvious they did not belong in the complex!!! Isn’t this an atrocity since the police should be protecting Hoboken residents?

Jump forward to 2 weekends ago. Early Saturday morning at 4am, the front security door was kicked down. Of course, most people are in deep sleep or coming home intoxicated on a Friday night. The following progressed through one tenant’s eyes:

The 3 men were creeping through the building jiggling on resident’s doorknobs. I assume they were trying to burglarize the first door that seemed plausible. Meanwhile, the 3 men ran into Tenant X’s household in fear of being caught. I then called the cops and they arrived immediately. HPD found the men standing in the hallway and asked them to leave. The cops never even asked me to file a complaint or took the names of the men down. Isn’t something the matter with this recurring picture????!!!!

hoboken-burglar-monroe-street.jpgEver since that night, there have been men coming out of Tenant X’s apartment jiggling the doorknobs to residents apartments. The time this happens is approximately 3am-5am in the morning. The last incident occurred when residents of an apartment were waiting for a cab to the airport at 4:15am. A man walked out of Tenant X’s apartment to the resident’s floor. The residents looked through their peephole to see a man standing outside their door. Fortunately, the cab company called the residents cellphone. The suspicious man heard the cellphone ring then ran back down to Tenant X’s apartment!!!!!

Residents are now terrorized and are placed in an uncomfortable living situation in this building. Obviously, the problem stems from Tenant X’s crowd she brings around. We have filed complaints against the tenant with HPD and have continuosly asked our landlord to evict Tenant X. According to our landlord, it is very difficult to evict Tenant X.

As Hoboken residents, we fear retaliation and are unable to find peace in our households. We are asking for advice on this matter since we feel we have taken preventative measures to this situation before one of us is injured. It frightens us to write this letter to you, as well as talk to HPD. When we’ve filed complaints, the names of those who’ve filed are shown to Tenant X. We are in true fear for our lives and DO NOT KNOW WHAT FURTHER STEPS TO MAKE. Of course, the easy thing to do is break our lease, but we would have to go through a long and strenuous battle with our landlord which requires financial sums of money being disposed on our side.

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76 Comments on "Reader Mail: Dangerous Tenants"

yuseff
Guest
yuseff
Tenant C is innocent until proven guilty. One lawyer I consulted, who is also the Long Branch Municipal Court judge, claims tenant C would have a case against me if I continue to investigate crimes committed against my tenants and use this information in court. If the police don’t think there is cause to even issue a summons, nobody other than the tenants that are being terrorized even care. And considering that they wont even come to court to back me up, I’m doubting how much they really care to do anything about it. He claims that the other tenants are framing him. As for raising the rent, I will certainly go down that path but if I raise too much within a year the court may perceive it to be “unconscionable” and throw the case out. My lawyer suggest raising no more than 10% per year. In addition, rent must be within the going rate for apartments of this type in the area. I could raise the rent another 30% but it will have to be incremental over the next three years, but hopefully he’ll give up before then. The obvious way to resolve this issue would be for one or two tenants to back me up with spoken testimony in court but for various reasons (they are scared of him and the potential retaliation, they can’t take time off from work to go to court, etc…), but they sure had time to complain to me constantly. The court… Read more »
bradykp
Member
bradykp

i fail to believe that all of what you stated is not grounds for eviction. what about “quiet enjoyment” clauses in leases? raise his deposit, raise his rent, and anything you include in rent bill him for (water, sewage, whatever) as a separate item. price him the hell out of it. i still don’t believe you cannot evict him.

Easy-E
Member
[quote comment=”95733″]I am a landlord in Long Branch and am in a very similar situation. One tenant, tenant C, is stealing from other four tenants, including going through their mail. He has gotten his vehicle on tenant B’s auto insurance policy. Has stolen a cell phone delivered to tenant A and made two weeks worth of phone calls to his wife, brother, former place of employment, etc… At least one MAC card was stolen from the mail and used to make several small purchases which probably didn’t require PINs. He probably broke into tenant B’s apartment while they were on vacation as is apparent from the puke left behind on their futon; Tenant C spends lots of time in garage drinking with friends, vomiting on lawn, urinating in a bucket outside of the garage door. Apparently his wife wont let him do this in the apartment. He and his friends also steal tools from tenant A’s side of garage and have broken into at least one other tenants vehicle and stolen change and a GPS. Long Branch police come by the house regularly and just shut off the music and lights and leave tenant C passed out on the garage floor. They never file a complaint or give a summons and there is no record of them ever being there. I have been to the police several times and they refuse to do anything about this situation even though they claim to have a “Zero Tolerance Policy”. I’ve had the… Read more »
yuseff
Guest
yuseff
I am a landlord in Long Branch and am in a very similar situation. One tenant, tenant C, is stealing from other four tenants, including going through their mail. He has gotten his vehicle on tenant B’s auto insurance policy. Has stolen a cell phone delivered to tenant A and made two weeks worth of phone calls to his wife, brother, former place of employment, etc… At least one MAC card was stolen from the mail and used to make several small purchases which probably didn’t require PINs. He probably broke into tenant B’s apartment while they were on vacation as is apparent from the puke left behind on their futon; Tenant C spends lots of time in garage drinking with friends, vomiting on lawn, urinating in a bucket outside of the garage door. Apparently his wife wont let him do this in the apartment. He and his friends also steal tools from tenant A’s side of garage and have broken into at least one other tenants vehicle and stolen change and a GPS. Long Branch police come by the house regularly and just shut off the music and lights and leave tenant C passed out on the garage floor. They never file a complaint or give a summons and there is no record of them ever being there. I have been to the police several times and they refuse to do anything about this situation even though they claim to have a “Zero Tolerance Policy”. I’ve had the fence… Read more »
bradykp
Member
bradykp

[quote comment=”68042″]
And as the old addage goes, you better be prepared to kill someone if you’re going to use a gun…[/quote]

sooooo true. unless you just use a gun for sport.

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