The internet has come to the defense of a landlord who put their cell phone on airplane mode and refused to check it, even during an emergency.

In a now viral Reddit post, user u/No-Coat-7393 explained that they went away for several days for a friend’s wedding, and they made sure the door from the basement into the main house was deadbolted beforehand. However, three days into the trip, the user received an alert about “an unauthorized event” in their house.

After checking the security footage, the user realized it was their mom and tenant Sally’s mom trying to get into the main property. Rather than helping them and silencing the alarm, the Redditor simply left them to resolve the issue themselves.

The post explains: “I checked the cameras in the house and strangely enough my house is not on fire. I didn’t leave the faucet running. There is no emergency. This is where I might be the a******. Once I saw they were just f****** with my area for no good reason, I put my phone on airplane mode and went back to the party.”

The user didn’t see why the two moms needed to go into the main area of the house to begin with. But after 90 minutes, the concierge at the wedding venue told the poster about an urgent phone call.

Woman checking phone
A stock image of a woman checking her phone, looking unhappy. Reddit users have backed a landlord who refused to answer calls from their tenant while on vacation.

AntonioGuillem/Getty Images

“I asked my mom what the emergency was, why was she getting me out of my friend’s wedding reception, was my house okay, was my dad okay. She very brusquely told me to shut up and talk to the cops and the security patrol,” they said.

“I talked to them and apologized for wasting their time. I asked them what the emergency was that brought my mother into my house. They handed her back the phone and let her tell me that her friend did not want to sit in the basement while she was visiting her daughter. So, my mom agreed to come let them use my area and it would be a secret.”

Was the poster right to stay out of the situation and not be contactable during an emergency? As the CEO of TurboTenant, Seamus Nally feels that “landlords should always be reachable” by their tenants, regardless of what they’re doing.

Nally, who owns several residential properties himself in New York and Colorado, recommends having a backup contact who tenants can speak to in case of an emergency, if the landlord is not able to do it themselves.

Nally told Newsweek: “With this situation, it sounds like the tenant was aware that the landlord was away for the time being, which is a good thing because it means the landlord communicated that they’d be unavailableā€”that communication is important.

“Landlords should inform their tenants of when they won’t be reachable, and they should provide a secondary emergency contact, preferably someone who’s local and knowledgeable about the property.”

It’s important for any landlords to put this in writing as part of their lease agreement, so that both parties are aware of the stipulations.

How Reddit Users Reacted

Furious about their mom trying to gain entry into the property without permission, the Redditor has confiscated the spare key and the tenant’s mom wants her to move out of the basement.

The post continues: “My mom is p***** that I wasn’t available immediately to get them out of trouble and she is furious that I won’t give her back my key. She thinks I did it on purpose. I’m not sure how she thinks I forced her to break into my home without permission.”

Since the post was shared on February 7, it has received over 13,000 votes and more than 1,300 comments from people who defended the landlord for taking a firm stance. Many people agreed that the poster did the right thing as the moms shouldn’t have tried to get into the property to begin with.

One comment reads: “Sally is not the problem, and to a certain extent neither is Sally’s mom. She can complain all she likes, it’s OPs mom with the keys that has caused all this.”

Another person wrote: “I would say Sally is the innocent bystander in this and should not be told to leave. It doesn’t seem like she wants to leave. I would keep the key and leave that as is. She needs to earn that back if she can.”

While another Reddit user responded: “Your mother took liberties that were not hers to take and did so behind your back. She’s earned the consequences of not trusting her and taking your key back.”

Newsweek reached out to u/No-Coat-7393 via Reddit for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.

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