No Prostitution in My Institution
Say there is an increase of foot traffic with unknown males (and it is for some reason ALWAYS males). They are clearly not residents of the building and going to one apartment in particular. None of the neighbors know who these men are, which is already a red flag. When they knock on a particular apartment door, they walk away and wait a few minutes. When they go back to the apartment door the tenants lets them inside. You know that the apartment they went into has a female tenant, possibly two female tenants. Then it dawns on you: there is possibly a prostitution service going on in your apartment complex.
This exact scenario played out a couple years ago in Roseville, California. The local news covered the story, with one resident remarking “I moved out of lower-income areas so I would not have to deal with that type of activity, just to have it right next door makes me wonder – what am I paying for?”
While not mentioned in the story, the Roseville apartment complex may not have had a landlord that took action when tenants noted their concerns. In some cases, the landlord may even be partially responsible: a story by the New York Times in November 2018 detailed the bust of a prostitution ring using two apartments as brothels that were owned by landlord Isaac A. Schwartz. Prosecutors mentioned that Schwartz was involved and even worked with a retired detective to help continue these activities.
With these stories in mind, it is important that you do your duty as a landlord to report on suspicions of prostitution to the authorities. Not taking care of the matter does not just devalue your property and your name as a property manager. It can also provide unfortunate assumptions as to your involvement in the prostitution ring. Also note that these activities constitute a violation of your lease agreement and can result in eviction. Do not just allow these activities to go on and make life uncomfortable for your honest, hardworking, law-abiding tenants. That would be a big mistake.