Having good neighbors can be beneficial, but it is important to maintain healthy boundaries. Being too friendly can lead to challenges.
A user asked the forum, “Am I a jerk for not allowing my neighbors to make a copy of my apartment key?”. Read the complete story to know who is wrong here.
The Original Poster (OP) recently moved into his new apartment complex less than 60 days ago. There are only four units in my complex, two downstairs and two upstairs.
WHERE DID HE STAY?
He resides downstairs in the second apartment. Everyone has lived here for at least five years, whilst the oldest resident has resided here for 8.
HE IS THE ONLY MAN THERE
He says that everyone knows everyone and has been good friends for as long as each one has been a resident. Everyone in his building has children besides him; the majority are single mothers, and he is the only man.
WHAT’S THE UNSPOKEN AGREEMENT?
He says that there is an unspoken agreement at first between the rest of the tenants that the hallway door is to never be locked. No one ever locks the hallway door.
That is until he arrived. From his knowledge, no one in the building has a hallway key, just the keys to their apartments.
The cost to replace a key is $70 for each quote from his landlord.
HE MOVED IN
He says that he just finished up his place and has officially moved in for about three weeks now. Each time he leaves and comes back from his complex, he always locks the hallway door.
He says that it’s always been a hit to lock all doors behind him.
WHAT ABOUT HIS NEIGHBORS?
His neighbor, who works night shifts, has arrived home for the past couple of weeks to a locked hallway door, which is a surprise given that the door hasn’t been locked for years.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
Apparently, everyone lost their key their first year or so living in the complex. He will hear continuous knocking and banging until someone comes to open the door.
The first few nights, he was awakened and got up to unlock the door.
KNOCKING THE DOOR
After the first week, he has since stopped, and his neighbor will be up to unlock it to let their neighbor in. If his neighbor isn’t home or doesn’t wake up to come to the door, she will knock, bang on every window, and yell until someone comes open.
WHAT DID HIS NEIGHBOR ASKED FOR?
Yesterday, his neighbor asked if he could please leave the door unlocked, given it has always been that way, and would like him to continue doing so.
WHAT WAS OP’S OPINION?
He expressed that while they live in a dangerous neighborhood (rated one of the top 5 most dangerous in our city), he feels safer knowing strangers can’t enter the building.
WHAT’S THEIR OPINION?
Whilst she understood his concerns, she assured him no one ever comes here but residents and invited visitors, and his safety is not to worry. He says that he had to beg to differ.
She then asks if he would mind lending her his hall key so she can make a copy and let others make their own copy from hers.
He politely declined because he wasn’t comfortable with that. She offered to pay him to make a copy myself, which he declined, too.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
For the past week, his neighbors have barely spoken to him. He says they usually tell each other good morning and chat a little or just a hi and bye, but not even that nowadays.
OP’s neighbor who volunteers at the food bank in their community would come back with goodies and share them with everyone in the complex. She has since knocked on my door to deliver him a box as usual every Wednesday.
He says he doesn’t care for the food, but the change in this routine leads him to believe he may have upset the rest of the tenants, and he honestly doesn’t want any bad blood. OP now wants to know if he is a jerk for doing this.
IT’S NOT A BIG ISSUE
“If they pay you for a copy, then I don’t see your issue anymore. It’s $70 for the landlord to do it, so it would be cheaper if you did it for everyone.
If you want that community and connection, then you have to give a little to get a little back.”
YOU ARE A JERK
“Yeah, you caused bad blood. You declined every solution proposed. Just get the key copied and have them pay you. It costs a few dollars, and the goodwill will mean you don’t have beef with your neighbors. Or just be a jerk, but don’t whine about it and wonder what went wrong.”
YOU ARE MAKING IT MORE DANGEROUS
“You’re probably making it more dangerous for your neighbors by locking them outside the building.”
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