I have had a few problems since moving into my apartment in September 2018, but lately there seems to be a situation in my building that has caused me to move out. I first reported to the landlord that somebody broke into and vandalized the Comcast box outside and attached to their building. This was also at the same time that I was experiencing frequent Wi-Fi intrusions and my settings kept getting changed in Feb 2019. I suspected then as I do now it is somebody who just moved in next to me because one of their walls is against my bedroom and when they moved in I heard a lot of drilling in the wall. It was so loud I thought they would drill right through my side. At the time I didn't think much of it until the situation worsened. Also the Wi-Fi seemed more vulnerable in that room so I moved my desk and computer to the living room then shut the bedroom door which seemed to help fewer attacks. The Comcast internet logs did show attempts in high numbers which I saved. Others were lost when the intruders kept resetting the router which deletes the logs. I asked Comcast if they still had those records and they said they don't. That loss is the intruders gain because it is harder to prove what was going on. However the logs I do have show there were numerous attempts to Port Forward from my system to somebody else's. This is how hackers can take control of our systems for those who don't know what it is. It also has legitimate purposes for the user.
They were also receiving a number of large packages marked with company names related to computer and security camera companies. That got my attention immediately because soon after that my own camera surveillance system was compromised and overtaken by another person. It could be unrelated, but it was still suspicious since the attacks on my surveillance equipment destroyed both cameras and the base station. It is no longer any good and the camera ownership changed from myself to whoever hacked my system. That was hundreds of dollars wasted and I didn't even have a chance to catch the person because they physically accessed my router at the time and reset it thus deleting all logs and making my internet system vulnerable to tampering. There became obvious signs of physical access to my apartment because I took photos/video before I entered and after I left then compared them with previous photos that proved somebody had been in there. Also the lock on my door is cheap and unfit for that apartment, and the landlord refuses to install a deadbolt. I was told by maintenance because the door is metal they can't install one. I suggested they replace the door. I would think if there is even mention of a suspected burglary the landlord would install a deadbolt since most apartments have them. This is an old building, but I have lived in many other that are similar and they all had deadbolts. This doorknob and the one that replaced it recently are not sufficient because they are easy to break and I told the landlord this. They ignored me and said because there are two doors with "strong locks" that lead outside we do not need deadbolts. I told them that is not true if the intruders are living inside and many times I have found the outside doors propped open and left that way for hours.
This management is dodging the truth and trying to profit from my bad experience when I told them I was forced into moving out. While I still maintain infrequent visits to check on the apartment, I no longer live there. I had to get my cat out because I did not feel it was safe when there was proof of illegal entry and the police officer I called never even entered the building. I found that very suspicious.
A couple of days ago, I received a weekly notice from the electric company that my usage was very high (over 400 percent of my typical usage). The day in question is also a day I visited the apartment and had intent to check the outlets because I already suspected since they port forwarded my cameras to their system, probably to spy and check if I was home, there might be microphones located in that apartment. I only thought that because last year I had a similar problem with intruders that lasted nearly an entire year. The police discredited three complaints then just as the one did this year. Law enforcement does not want to enforce anything especially if it makes the city look bad. There's also a lot of favoritism in Pittsburgh so some people who have connections think they rule. I ran into many instances of this and try to avoid these people because they can be very vindictive.
Anyway, I found the outlet cover in the bedroom on the wall that joins the next apartment to be very loose and the screws were not tightened. I took photos before and after. Since the outlet was in the open where it was easily seen I noticed it right away. I opened it, but I could not see anything unusual other than there was not a noticeable ground wire since it was three prong and from what I had seen before there is usually a third wire. However, I'm not an electrician so it's possible a wire way in the back of the socket could have been a substitute for a ground wire. I couldn't access further back into the outlet because I was afraid of an electrical shock from their side. I also did not want to tamper with it. I believe I reported this to the management, but they ignore everything I tell them even though I have enough proof from the beginning to now that show negligence and ignorance of my issues. This is a bad building with a lot of problems.
I intended to stay in this apartment until the expiration of my lease which is the end of August 2019. However with these people connecting to my power I can no longer tolerate this abuse and the management does not believe me. They never visit the buildings or if they do it's just for a quick tour then leave. I am retired and home most of the time and face the back where they park so I would see them and I only remember seeing office staff once or twice, and they never visited my apartment ever. I had to get my keys initially under a doormat out front after their office closed so I was denied learning more about the building. I had to find out from strangers because this management is very hands off. They are not interested in tenant problems.
As it stands now, I have a problem with the landlord. They are requiring me to pay a few thousand dollars to break this lease and move out unless either they can find or I find somebody to rent the place. Nobody I know would want to live there because the living conditions are unsafe and unhealthy not including my apartment. There are many other issues that I do have proof of on video and correspondence to show negligence on the landlord's part, but I cannot get anybody in this miserable city to help me. It appears since police officers have discredited me several times it is working against me. It appears more to me there is a cover up. This is not in my head when I see evidence of intrusions. My last apartment they were shutting off my power to kill my surveillance cameras. Near the end prior to leaving that apartment I caught on video the landlord breaking in. I turned that over to police and they ignored it. Cover up.
I was also lied to several times when first shown this apartment. I was told there was a thermostat in the apartment and there isn't one which I didn't discover until after paying all the deposits and first month rent. They also added a few other fees I didn't know about to jack the price up to $810 a month which is way too high for this apartment building since it is obsolete and should have been torn down. Who does construction in January during frequent snow and ice storms then does not notify tenants? I was never informed and had to endure a week and a half of noise, blocking our paid-for parking spaces, blocking access to the back, and creating a very hazardous situation. I have video and photo proof of that. When I called to complain about it they sent out their CYA email letting tenants know. It would have been nice to get it a week before so I could stay elsewhere. As I said, I had two cats and the loud banging was deafening and scaring my cats. I tried wearing earplugs and headphones and it was still loud. I think I still have audio of it, but it wouldn't prove much.
The building also has a lot of safety issues that I reported like unsafe conditions Labor Day weekend 2018 when they refused to install my air conditioning during a long heatwave. This year they kept delaying installing my air conditioner then did so when they changed my lock from one broken one to another bad one that was also broken during another burglary. I can't win with this landlord and it's all about money for them. I cannot install my own A/C unit because it won't fit their crank windows and even if I had regular windows they have to install the bracket. Everything has a price tag attached to it for these people. I didn't even request their parking and that is $30 a month for a bad parking lot where the lines and numbers are so faint tenants often park in my space. I gave up on it and started parking out front. I'm still paying it even though I don't live there. The stairways are hazardous because the fire doors are too close to the bottom stairs making it very difficult for older people to carry groceries or other items, and the doors have tight hinges which will slam shut too quickly. I have been knocked down the stairs twice. I reported it and the person who works for the landlord just laughed. They don't care. Their recent email giving me no choices claims they do care, but they don't. The end result proves it. That email is also a joke, but too large to include here and may not be appropriate for a public forum. However, it does show their greed.
The landlord controls the heat too. The tenant has no thermostat even though the lease shows we have to keep the thermostat down to a certain level or we will be charged for electricity. The lease does not even apply for these apartments in many cases since we pay for our own electricity and there are no thermostats in these apartments. The heat was always set too high and not a typical comfort level for me because the apartment was too hot. Often I had to open the windows because sometimes when it was in the 50's or 60's outside during the day they had the heat turned up too high and the apartment got too hot. Since they removed our window air conditioners after summer, I was not able to cool off the apartment and my windows face the tar roof of garages out back where sunlight hitting it also generates excessive heat. This is what caused major health issues last September during the Labor Day and after heatwave. Both my cats suffered badly and one cat stopped eating for a couple of weeks and lost too much weight. During winter it continued until the point he could not regain that weight. The management knew I had cats (I still have one left), but ignored the problem. Video proof shows the weight loss of the cat and other things since my surveillance cameras (before vandalized) usually ran all the time especially when I left the apartment. Not having those anymore and unable to use my own internet and power caused me to shut everything off. I had already moved out last month and removed everything of value before the first sign of a break in. I suspected something was going on with the Wi-Fi hacks and my computer being hacked which prompted me to remove everything. Fortunately I was right because either the next day or day after is when there were obvious signs of illegal entry. Every time I visited the apartment weeks before I was finding my Comcast router reset and this is usually only possible with physical access unless these people have other means of doing it.
I want to know how can I get help to justify breaking this lease since it is long past me wanting to live in an unsafe apartment. Being that I had to remove my internet service and power, there's no going back especially since the management refuses to acknowledge there is a problem. I suspect they are selling the building because they sold the one next to it a few months ago and the fact they performed construction on the garages during the worst weather makes me believe they are trying to sell it in Spring or Summer. I have seen different people outside the building looking at it so I assumed they are potential buyers or inspectors. A lot of tenants have also recently moved out which may be related or their lease was up. If management is trying to sell it then maybe they're trying to gain back as much money from me as they can before unloading it on the next unsuspecting owner.
I have tried several local agencies and everybody refers back to places that I have tried and they failed. Nobody seems interested in the problem and a typical Pittsburgh response I get is if it never happened to them it doesn't happen. I plan to leave PA after I get this settled and have been here since 2004.
The attached photo is only an example to show one instance when I found the doorknob had been tampered with and how cheap it is. There is a chain at the top for use from inside, but can easily be broken as can this doorknob. The doorknob was replaced, but was also broken into. I told the management that the doorknob is too small for the hole in the door which an intruder can easily place a knife or other object either above or below the doorknob and pry the knob loose. I check the doorknob each time and often it was very loose and could be turned in either direction prior to inserting the key. That's when I figured out there had been possible breakins plus I was finding appliances left on and I don't leave them on when I know I may not be back for several days. I found fans on. Now they have overtaken my power. I dread seeing that bill. Fortunately it was supposed to have been turned off yesterday (May 17, 2019).