‘My apartment building has odd three knock rule – I feel unsafe’


A woman was left horrified when workmen allegedly entered her flat without her knowledge or permission, leaving her feeling unsafe.

The mum explained that she was “startled” out of her sleep by “three quick knocks” and then someone “entered” before she had the chance to get out of bed, where she was sleeping with her toddler.

“I jumped up and called for them to get out from my bedroom door”, she recounted on Mumsnet.

“They said ‘hello? ‘ I told them again louder to get out and they left. My bedroom is at the far end of the hallway so I didn’t see them”, she detailed, adding: “Once the door was closed I went to check through the peephole and saw a man writing something on his clipboard. There were definitely two men as I heard them speaking but only one remained when I peeped through the hole.”

Following the incident, she “locked and barricaded the door”, and she contacted the apartment offices to question why they’d been given a key when they didn’t have her consent to enter.

“They explained it was maintenance and per my contract, they have a right to enter,” she said. “I know this is not the case. I received no email informing me of the work and was given no time to respond to the knock on the door.”

The woman recounted her unsettling experience when maintenance workers entered her home without permission, leaving her feeling extremely vulnerable. “This has left me quite shaken and feeling very unsafe in my own home,” she admitted.

“It is just myself and my daughter here. I could have been in a compromising state, or my daughter in the living area (closer to the entryway) whilst I was in my bedroom or we could have returned from somewhere to find them in our home.”

She further disclosed the new policy that added to her anxiety, saying: “They’ve sent an email to all tenants today about some more maintenance next week and state that the workmen will knock three times, and if there is no answer will be letting themselves in.”

Sympathetic commenters offered advice on how to bolster her home’s security. One suggested: “I’d get a door wedge. I’d prefer a chain, but they probably won’t allow that if you rent. A wedge is non-permanent and won’t damage anything but will stop the door being opened. They should definitely have given you time to answer the door and prior warning they would be coming.”

Others recommended surveillance options, with one writing: “We use the Tapo cameras in our house which seem to work well and are fairly easy to set up.”

The outpouring of support continued as another person commented: “I hope you are ok. What a terrible way to treat you.”

A Mumsnet user suggested a practical solution, saying: “Can you leave the key in the door lock on the inside? With most doors, if you do that then you can’t enter from the outside with the key.”

However, not everyone was sympathetic to the original poster’s plight. One person sided with the contractors, bluntly asking: “Sorry to sound ignorant but why can’t you get ready in time and let them in? ” Yet another jumped to her defence, asserting: “What business is that of yours? The original poster is entitled to quiet enjoyment of her flat.”

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