AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some people living in a downtown Austin high-rise are ready to move out after repeated safety concerns.
They showed video of a suspicious man creeping around one of the top floors. It comes after burglars hit almost two-dozen apartment units nearby.
But even if you don’t feel safe, by Texas law, it is difficult to terminate your lease.
History of Break-Ins
Police responded to Grant Anderson’s home last week to try to find a suspicious person who was caught on doorbell camera lurking on the 27th floor.
You can see him eyeballing different apartment buildings and repeatedly looking over his shoulder. He takes something out of his pocket and hides it behind his back before ringing the doorbell.
Police were never able to locate him.
“To me, it looked like for whoever opened that door, he was going to jump in and do whatever he had to do,” said Grant Anderson, who lives in the targeted apartment.
Between July and October, there were 22 burglaries at several downtown high-rises. The Bowie was one of those targets.
KXAN asked the Austin Police Department if officers have arrested anyone related to that series of burglaries from 2019. We’re still waiting to hear back.
“We’ve loved it up until a couple of months ago,” Anderson said about the Bowie. He and his fiancee have asked the Bowie staff to terminate their lease early without penalty due to the ongoing suspicious activity. “Stuff like this, it’s becoming the new norm.”
E-mails sent between the two parties, obtained by KXAN, show Bowie staff unwilling to drop the lease or find compromise. However, a spokesperson for the complex shared a commitment to safety for residents.
“The safety and well-being of our residents and staff is a top priority. Last week, management at The Bowie became aware of an unknown individual who was roaming a hallway. With assistance from the Austin Police Department, the man promptly and without incident, exited the property. We will continue to monitor this situation for the safety of the community.”Spokesperson for The Bowie
Texas property code does not obligate a landlord to provide personal safety and security to their tenants. However, housing advocates suggest documenting your issues and providing them to your landlord. They are required to respond.
“If the landlord is failing in that obligation, there may be a claim that the tenant can make,” Daniel Armendariz said, a housing advocate for the Austin Tenant’s Council.
Anderson said he will continue fighting to end his lease early and he hopes his neighbors at the Bowie look out for one another.
“Check your surroundings, be aware of what’s going on and try to see what you believe you deserve from whoever that may be,” Anderson said.