A New York City landlord is in hot water with TikTok users after she posted a video on the platform showing her taking packages from the lobby that supposedly belong to residents.
“My tenant is late on rent and is avoiding me but has money to order,” the captions in the TikTok read. “So I take all their packages until they pay up.”
As of May 5, the video has been deleted, but Abbe Awosanya is still facing a lot of scrutiny — despite claiming that she was only joking. Some Twitter users were able to download the TikTok before Awosanya took it down.
Awosanya has over 6,000 followers on TikTok and 32,000 followers on Instagram, both of which were flooded with hundreds of angry comments after the video came out.
As people pointed out that obstructing mail is a federal offense, Awosanya explained that the packages featured in the video were all hers.
“Thanks for the concern,” she reportedly replied to one comment, according to BuzzFeed. “All my mail but it’s nice that yall only care about renters like landlords don’t have bills.”
The timing of Awosanya’s statement comes in tandem with nationwide calls for rent strikes. Due to people being furloughed or laid off because of the pandemic, more and more residents are advocating for financial relief from their buildings.
New York state has suspended evictions until at least June 20.
In conversation with BuzzFeed, Awosanya said that all of her renters had paid their rent, but it’s an issue she’s dealt with before in her career as a landlord. She continued and said she considered that the TikTok might spark a divide, but had no idea it was going to stir up so much controversy and anger.
“I have a few jobs that sustain me. I don’t rely on anyone’s rent money,” she said. “But if I’m paying for the roof over your head, it’s my business.”
She also told BuzzFeed she had no plans to delete the video.
According to an Insider interview with 21-year-old student Haaniyah Angus, an unverified Twitter account claiming to be Awosanya DMed Angus and threatened to sue for sharing the TikTok.
Angus said she did not respond to the message and blocked the account before sharing the screenshot. The Twitter account that sent the DM has been deactivated.
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