My landlord is a raging narcissist and misogynist and cherry picks his tenants as people whom he perceives as weak or timid so that he can pull all sorts of illegal stuff and intimidate his tenants into submission. I fit into his favorite category–young woman. The first year living here was frustrating but bearable. He would invade our privacy a bit and stop by at weird times, but I put up with it to maintain the peace. It wasn’t until this year and he started refusing to make repairs and trying to drop all sorts of illegal charges on us that I lost my patience and put my foot down and stand up for my tenant rights. That’s when the sexist harassment started: he called me “vile little bitch” and all sorts of other names, saying I was “hysterical” and only backing down when my dad, a man and the cosigner on my lease, threatened him with legal action. However, he then began sending me emails in secret, threatening to “make me pay” or make my life miserable for getting my dad involved. He sends these sorts of letters to me now any time I raise an issue, from fixing a light to asking him to provide simple documentation. He has decided that I’m some sort of ringleader whenever other tenants complain about issues with their own home and sends me emails when that happens, claiming I’ve poisoned people against him. He clearly can’t stand intelligent women or women who stand up for themselves. he acts completely differently with my male neighbors and even with my female neighbor who always insists her boyfriend be there when the landlord is around. It is clear he wants to come off as a “big strong man” in order to intimidate me. I’m finally moving out, but the people he’s been bringing in to see the apartment have one thing in common: all are young women in their 20s. I want to tell them all to run away as far as possible and I would if I weren’t afraid of this guy. I’ve been sexually harassed and called names before, but this is the first time in my life where I’ve wished I was a man so that this landlord would respect my autonomy and leave me alone. It makes my blood boil.
After two years living with a violent abusive housemate I decided to voice my concerns to the landlord. His response? “If the atmosphere is so threatening, why haven’t you just moved out?” I just sat in my bedroom and cried. Basically either calling me a hysterical woman, or a liar or both. It just mirrors the situation of domestic violence victims where people ask “why didn’t she just leave?” instead of condemning the abuser. More to the point I shouldn’t have to leave my home because a man is threatening and intimidating me, it’s my home too. Anyway, fast forward six months to an incident after being woken up again at 4am by our housemate and two male strangers returning home drunk to our house, my female housemate gets up to find vomit all over her towels. She’s understandably angry and confronts him over this. She’s angry with him but not threatening. He leaves and doesn’t return for two days (on a day which he knows I always stay over at my partner’s so the house will be empty apart from him and my female housemate) and he runs into the kitchen launching a sustained verbal and very nearly physical attack on her. She repeatedly tries to speak to him in a logical reasoned manner but he simply screams at her “I do not want to listen to you, I just want to yell at you”. It was so bad that she handed in her notice to the landlord the next day and reported him to the police. The landlords response? “Well there are no witnesses, the police can’t prove anything and you are moving out anyway”. Now I work in criminal prosecution and I know that there was more than enough evidence for her to press charges if she had wanted to, however she was too frightened of repercussions to do so. Both the landlord and my housemate clearly have problems with women. They treat us like liars or hysterical fantasists when all we were was scared of being in the house with somebody who was clearly violent and clearly had a problem with women. He had a problem with me because we worked in the sector however I was more qualified than him (I’m a trainee Solicitor, he is a paralegal but tells everybody he’s a lawyer). The saddest thing about this is that we informed the landlord of our concerns six months previously and he did nothing. I have saved all of this correspondence to show the police should I ever need to. This man is dangerous and I have no doubt in my mind he is a future domestic violence perpetrator but nobody will listen to us.