So a few days ago, my wonderful apartment complex sent out notices that they will be installing “SmartRent” locks and sensors in my apartment to “improve security and to monitor in case of things like a gas or water leak.”
So. . . as y’all can imagine, I’m not thrilled.
I’ve already been told I cannot opt out. That being said, I will NOT make it easy for them in the slightest, and I would like your help to make it even more difficult. They have already “setup” an account for me without informing me, nor asking permission. It will be a door lock that has a number code, a hub with a SIM card that can connect to cell towers so they can “monitor” if something needs service, and “some sensors”.
Soooooo far my steps will be -
I will not accept any passcode given to me - by a company I did not create an account with, nor will I accept a passcode delivered to me unencrypted. It would have to go to my encrypted email or thru signal messenger which neither one they have. They will need to give me a physical passcode. If they say that I will need to create an account to access it, I will politely ask them if it’s my lock or if it’s their lock. If they say it’s MY lock and number, then I will inform them, I will remove it as I do not want it. If it’s THEIR lock, then it needs to be their account and password. It cannot be both of ours, it’s their call which one it is.
If I do get a text message or email from said company I will reach out to their customer support to them know someone has stolen my identity and created an account without my consent and they will need to remove my information.
I will burn the email address I had associated with it and my apartment complex. I will also be getting a burner sim card/phone number/ email and update my file with them.
For the “hub” that is fitted to either wifi or it comes with a SIM card like in a mobile phone I have purchased these “waterproof” proof Faraday pouches and I will double bag it in to make sure that if we have any flooding here in the desert, their precious hub is safely packaged in it…
I was going to fight them about plugging it in and that I would never allwo them to use my electricity, but I think it will be easier for damage contorl on my end if I let them set it all up and then just go about fixing their issues.
I was thinking about setting up the raspberry pi as the “wifi” and tether the “hub” to it, meanwhile it won’t have internet - so it’ll just dead end at the pi. Flip side is that I believe I will need to use the phone app to set it up. The manager told me I can do everything thru the phone app, and I told her I cannot get the phone app it doesn’t exist for me. She asked - Android or IOS. . and I said neither- CalyxOS. And it’s not available from FDroid so there’s no way for me to access it through my phone (she was blown away).
I will not access it via my laptop either. Behind a VPN or otherwise. Logging in/use of the account in any fashion whatsoever other than to let them know that someone created it with my credentials illegally without my consent will not happen.
That being said. I’m all open to options (other than moving out or buying a house - which I’m dying to do. I’m PRAYING for mass foreclosures so I can take my little bit of savings I’ve been working on the last few years and capitalize on others misfortunes!!)
What else can I do? What else haven’t I thought of?
Well I guess if you are in these states, sue them! It’s not fun situation to be in. Alternative would be to move out. I know most people don’t like it but at the end of the day you may be better off. Crazy story for sure.
I wish I could move, but I literally just spent almost $8000 (2 month lease break, 1st month an security deposit + acutal moving expenses) to move here back in October. I can’t eat that again to move so soon again. Even at the $3000/mo I pay for rent, there’s not a lot of options where I live, even if I move a lot further away and I don’t want another 1-1.5 hour drive home everyday. I would love to buy a house ideally in the area, but there’s nothing within 30 min of work under $670,000 currently on the market and I just can’t afford it yet… . .
I don’t know if I can sue, but I may inquire with a lawyer. But I’m sure there’s some ridiculously small clause somewhere that says they can do this. And flip side, if I press crazy hard, they can serve a 30 day notice to move out (California is crazy easy to remove someone contrary to what the news says).
Ouch, yet another reason I have no desire to ever move to California.
Ya, but the sunset, the mountains, the beach, food, overpasses full of homeless junkies, hollyweird, smog so thick it’s healthier to smoke filtered Marlboros and the never ending anticipation of if you die by earthquake, burning alive or taxes is just riveting.
Oh ya and the software is proprietary.
If you can even find it in my app store.
I <3 Calyx almost as much as Arch.
Apartment management can essentially get away with adding or taking away whatever they want and usually there isn’t a whole lot anyone can really do about it. Those lease contracts you sign won’t help you in anyway (feel free to re-read them) and I can almost guarantee management has already cleared this lock thing with their appropriate channels. By all means you may scream at the wall, but you won’t be knocking it down, you’ll only give yourself tinnitus and no one wants that. This is why people hate apartments. The (anger) Management.
p.s. don’t be this guy, er i mean woman?
I’m going to treat the hub like a dirty date. It’ll be double bagged in an RFID blocking pouch.
I’m still not signing up no matter how much they press.
Double bagging leads to more friction, so good luck with that
I’m printing that and highlighting all of the things I can’t do when they come for installation
More friction sounds like the theme of date one installation…
looks really … scary to me indeed…
Would be partly okay for a hotel complex or a retirement paradise…
Me in a few years time. Perhaps even shorter. That depends.
This actually isnt true, there are a lot of laws in place to help both renter and landlord. People think there isnt and actually just allow their management or landlord to do whatever because many are afraid to say anything. You should always know your rights as a renter so you can identify and rectify law violations.
@fbodymechanic do you have your lease agreement? If possible you can find if the addition of this in some way violates your current lease agreement. I would also make sure to investigate if this is questionable in regards to any local laws. I know fairly recently if youre in California they added a good chunk of new rental law.
I have already asked the wife to pull it out so I can look over it. The place has hundreds of apartments → I’m quite sure they cleared the legality of doing this with their lawyers.
Again, they can also serve me a 30 day notice to vacate if I don’t cooperate to their liking which I really don’t have time or money for currently.
I have 2 new 4/mo prepaid SIM cards coming for the wife and I. They now get their own email and phone numbers for us. They are special. Wife has been told not to open/click on anything they send and to just block any email or phone number they reach out to her with. Any interaction could be seen as accepting of the created accounts for us. I will do all of the legwork here on out. She doesn’t like this stuff anyway. She’s now also on proton with me.
As soon as I have them and set them up I will inform them that our accounts have been hacked and someone maliciously setup other accounts for us without our consent and to protect ourselves from future identity theft, I have gotten new emails and phone numbers.
Are you sure? Illegal activities are common in that state.
I’d be interested to learn about the privacy/tracking issues. Even though this is private properties some of that changes a bit when you become a tenant (although I am not familiar with the laws in that state. I’m also not an attorney, I’m just curious).
Well, I wish you good luck. It’s always intense this sort of thing, especially when it concerns your home/living space! California has steep prices! The identity theft part is clever.
Gotta argue smart. If they are going to do all of this with a large part of the selling point based on “security” how are they supposed to argue if I’m taking actions and fixing things due to “security issues”.