To be annoyed at my new neighbour handing out keys to our communal front door to all her friends?

(41 Posts)
CrikeyOHare Thu 04-Oct-12 01:50:30

I live in a building that's been converted into 3 flats. We all share the front door into the building & obviously have our own doors to our flats.

A lady moved in about two weeks ago to the ground floor flat - the closest to the main door. I'm a bit annoyed that she seems to be filling up the lobby with her belongings - namely fucking hideous garden statues (think poor man's Venus de Milo), but, well, each to their own and all that, and it's not really a big deal.

But she told me that, as she hasn't got a doorbell, she's given all her friends keys to the main front door - about 6 people in all. I think it's fair enough for one friend to be a key holder in case of emergency or getting locked out, etc - but I don't feel particularly comfortable with a bunch of strangers basically having full access to our building. It's not like it's a big block or anything, just a converted house.

I did ask her why she didn't just get a doorbell, but no, this was the best solution for her apparently.

I could do without neighbourly feuds - so if it would be unreasonable for me to object to this, please tell me.


brighthair Thu 04-Oct-12 01:54:40

I wouldn't be very happy with the keys or the lobby. We can't put anything in the entrance lobby at all, not even muddy boots on doormat
Keys - well if anyone tries to follow me in the block I tell them to buzz themselves in, and I won't let anyone in that buzzes me and asks for access. My parents have an emergency key, that's it

BestestBrownies Thu 04-Oct-12 02:03:57

I'm with brighthair on this. The tat in the lobby issue is an 'elf & safety one, and I would be seriously hacked off at the key issue for obvious security reasons. Definitely object OP.

Miltonia Thu 04-Oct-12 02:04:32

Are you and the neighbour both renting from the same owner? In which case see the rental agreement and whether there are any statements about key security. If you are owners is there a joint management document for the house?

I can't imagine your insurers would be thrilled to hear about this. Obviously if you or the other set of householders suffer a break in, suspicion will land upon the key holding friends.

Do the friends realise what a responsibility it is to have the keys and how they might be spoken to by the Police if anything happens in the house?

Chubfuddler Thu 04-Oct-12 02:41:43

If she rents grass her up to her landlord. If she owns grass her up to the managing committee.

HeathRobinson Thu 04-Oct-12 03:07:16

Is your flat front door a good quality external grade door, iyswim?

musicalendorphins Thu 04-Oct-12 03:11:01

I wouldn't like it at all and would mention this to your landlord.

CrikeyOHare Thu 04-Oct-12 03:19:46

Different landlords - but I know hers. He's the owner who lived in it himself until few weeks ago.

No - door to my flat is a very flimsy internal door.

Hmmmmmmm. It's all very irritating - but she is very, very quiet, which makes a nice change. So, swings and roundabouts.

musicalendorphins Thu 04-Oct-12 04:23:39

Maybe someone will steal her statues, with so many people having keys and all.

ThreeWheelsGood Thu 04-Oct-12 05:44:52

If she's renting I imagine both these things are against the tenancy agreement so YANBU. Find a way of getting through to her that it's unacceptable, either confront her or contact her landlord.

I doubt she's allowed to do either of those really! Grass her up, I would. Filling the lobby is an issue with H&S and the handing out keys shock Huge security issue!

HecateHarshPants Thu 04-Oct-12 06:34:26

Contact the landlord and raise your concerns about the security issues.

What about insurance? If someone got in, would the number of non resident keyholders invalidate the insurance?

cozietoesie Thu 04-Oct-12 09:26:09

I'd lay good odds that it would, Hecate.

Hopeforever Thu 04-Oct-12 09:28:52

I'd ask your LL to increase the security to your flat by changing the door. You can say what has happened if you need to
I'd also contact your friend who owns the ground floor flat, if I was the LL of a flat I'd want to know

cozietoesie Thu 04-Oct-12 09:37:24

Basically, all insurance policies of which I know now say that external doors have to be fitted with BS thingie security mortice locks. If your neighbour has given out keys to all and sundry, she's effectively made the communal part, part of the outdoors - so all internal doors would have to be upgraded if not currently fitted correctly.

Also - I wouldn't care to have to explain to an insurance company or the police how a residence had been changed so that once off the actual street, someone might have free rein to bash in other doors in privacy because they could close the street door behind them. I wouldn't care to live there much, to be honest, for the same reason.

snigger Thu 04-Oct-12 09:38:11

Unpleasant flashback to our neighbour, 19 with a wee girl, who wasn't a quiet quiet lass at all - she gave everyone a key, then promptly jiggered off to her boyfriends gaff on a near permanent basis, and her place became party central to her childless mates from Friday lunchtime to early Monday morning.

Took six months of gentle complaints escalating to strident door-banging harangues and threats of legal action to fix it.

If she seems nice, it might be worth (in the interests of future neighbourliness, as you pointed out) having a kindly word about the security worries her actions have caused, then if no feedback definitely take it further - it's not worth the worry. Keys can be copied, sadly, and her mates might not always be her mates.

BigFatLegsInWoolyTIghts Thu 04-Oct-12 09:43:15

Gather up the statues and place them all in front of her door so they're staring at her when she comes out in the morning.

Then the next day, have them lined up looking in her windows.

OldCatLady Thu 04-Oct-12 09:43:21

I find it weird she was even able to get 6 keys. Usually you'd have some sort of 'management company' that oversee's the communal areas etc (it may just be the two landlords) and they should hold a master key, the others should not be able to be copied, therefore any extra keys would need to be purchased from said management company. I'd be questioning this for sure, I wouldn't feel comfortable at all.

Hopeforever Thu 04-Oct-12 09:47:20

Love Bigfatlegs's idea about the statues grin

cozietoesie Thu 04-Oct-12 09:48:19

Such a small set up, OldCatLady, it may just be the individual owners - and only pretty classy keys can't be copied.sad

ChaoticismyLife Thu 04-Oct-12 10:27:34

BigFatLegs grin

OP YANBU I wouldn't be happy about this either.

CrikeyOHare Thu 04-Oct-12 10:41:25

Bigfatlegs grin grin And shall I leave her a note telling her not to blink?! smile

Thanks all - and you're right. It's quite a big security risk & I'll run with the insurance aspect. Will talk to my own LL first, I think - and he can raise it with her LL.

Oldcat It's just a normal Yale key, not a security type one.

BigFatLegsInWoolyTIghts Thu 04-Oct-12 10:45:08

Yes Crikey and why not add to the brood...just pop an extra gnome in now and there are interlopers.

She'll lose track eventually and you can start bumping them off one by one!

I also love BFLIWT's idea, but you also have to send her a DVD of the Doctor Who episode "Blink" - the one with the weeping angel statues! She'll probably hand in her notice! <evil grin>

Bloody hell, it's so slow typing on my phone!

Bubblemoon Thu 04-Oct-12 11:38:54

How about speaking with her about your concerns first, then go to the landlord if she didn't respond favourably. So often new neighbours seem like hell as you worry they're going to ruin your home life, but when you get to know them they're so lovely that even their fibreglass Venus de Milo starts to look quite the thing. I'd try to keep things amicable and only start dobbing her in when she's proven herself to be a complete cow.

Hopeforever Thu 04-Oct-12 11:40:16

You oukd also post them one by one to friends in exotic locations and ask them to send your neighbour a photo of them 'enjoying their holiday'

Lueji Thu 04-Oct-12 11:44:13

TBH, and regardless of neighbour, I'd upgrade my flat door.

On the statues front, are they well secure? No chance of something bumping into one of them and breaking it?
She might reconsider where she leaves them...

My flat was broken into once when my arsehole neighbour just left the front main door open. His entry phone wasn't working, he had quite a lot of friends coming & going and was too lazy to get up and open the door even though he lived in the ground floor flat.

It's a burglar's dream, because they can sneak in, and are pretty much unseen. You certainly need to get it sorted out one way or another.

cumfy Thu 04-Oct-12 13:42:47

Sounds very odd.

Who has sets of keys to all their friends' houses ?confused
Do you get the impression she may be involved w drugs ?

Bubblemoon Thu 04-Oct-12 14:02:41

Hey Crikey, is this your neighbour's place?

(see the thread "Is this the best house on Rightmove" on AIBU)

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 14:06:15

I would take both issues up with the Management Co. Storing stuff in the entrance hall is not only inconsiderate but is in breach of H&S legislation. Where I live we have, on a couple of occasions, got notices from the Mng Co when residents started leaving prams and bikes in the main hall.
Likewise with the keys. It is not just her own security she is compromising but the other tennants as well.

lurkerspeaks Thu 04-Oct-12 15:56:59

Might be worth asking LL to consider approaching other owners to install security lock (ie. where keys can't be cut).

I lived in a flat last year and desperately tried to get another one cut as the letting agent had lost one and took 8 weeks to order another one (don't worry once it was actually ordered it only took 3 days to arrive) so my OH and I were sharing one set of functional door keys.

Several locksmiths commented that for that grade of keys you are meant to alert the police if people are trying to get them cut.

The building I own in has the same system. It is very reassuring. They keys are pretty expensive though - £25 quid/ key but the locks aren't much more expensive than a standard good quality door lock. Typical brands are ASSA or Abloy. Banham and Ingersoll probably have a similar situation.

I work abroad intermittently and rent my flat out when I am away. Iam considering either installing a security keyed lock (so tenants can't get masses of keys cut) or buying one where you can change the barrel so when I'm living here I have oneset of keys and when I have tenants they have a completely different set of keys. Paranoid.... maybe!

DontmindifIdo Thu 04-Oct-12 16:13:52

I'd talk to your landlord, explain what's happening and that a) the shared hallway being fullof things is a bit of a hazzard, and that b) as the other neighbour is handing out multiple keys and telling people to let themselves into the main building then knock on her door, you can't consider the front door to the property to be secure anymore so will need a more secure front door to your flat. Or would your landlord like her landlord's details? I'm sure your landlord would have words with her landlord about this.

CrikeyOHare Thu 04-Oct-12 16:59:19

cumpfy No, don't get that impression at all. She's about 50 or so & her friends are a similar age (helped one of them up the steps with a tartan shopping trolley yesterday that was apparently full of library books grin). It's not that I have any worries about the friends specifically, it's just the thought of so many people having a key to what is, effectively, my front door. Because, as many of you have pointed out, keys can go astray and get copied.

Bubble Yikes - that house shock. But that is very much to her taste I know 'cos I nosed through the front window while she was moving in.

We're all supposed to be getting video entry soon, so might ask my LL about updating the lock. Those ones that cannot be copied would sort this out.

Thank you all smile

lashingsofbingeinghere Thu 04-Oct-12 17:57:37

Could you not arrange a "burglary" of her gnomes and garden stuff and when she complains say, well, what with all the keys in circulation it's not surprising they've been nickedliberated, you can't trust anyone wink

CelstialNavigation Thu 04-Oct-12 18:18:10

6 friends? I blame Monica Geller, OP. Your neighbour wants this final key scene when she moves out

mum11970 Thu 04-Oct-12 18:22:15

I'd be annoyed if all an sundry had a key. I assume your post just comes in through the communal door, so any bank cards or confidential post is now not secure.

CrikeyOHare Thu 04-Oct-12 19:18:23

I assume your post just comes in through the communal door, so any bank cards or confidential post is now not secure.

See, I hadn't even thought of that, but you're right. Gawd. Not good.

I shall speak to her in the morning in the nicest way I can. If that doesn't work, I'll grass 'er up, guvs wink.

CrikeyOHare Thu 04-Oct-12 19:20:14

Celestial That scene, er, made me sob moved me slightly. Tell anyone that, though, and I'll send one of her Weeping Angels round your gaff.

GoldenLlama Thu 04-Oct-12 19:30:06

If she is concerned about the fact that she doesn't have a doorbell, wireless doorbells are fairly cheap and easy to fit.

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