A tragic incident recently unfolded in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, where a tenant tragically lost his life due to being locked inside his apartment for an extended period.
Rental Payment Delay
According to Sin Chew Daily, The tenant, a man in his 40s who worked as a driver for an e-hailing platform, had been unable to pay for at least three months. In response, the landlord decided to lock the apartment unit, apparently unaware that the tenant was inside.
Unable to pay for phone credits, the tenant found himself trapped without any means to communicate his plight or call for help. The full extent of his efforts to attract attention or get assistance during this period remains uncertain.
A month after this unfortunate event began, neighbours discovered the tenant’s lifeless body.
What was particularly distressing for them and his family was his severely emaciated state, a stark contrast to his previously healthier appearance as seen in photographs, prior to the incident.
Family To Sue Landlord
The incident has sparked significant concern and outrage among the community and loved ones. The tenant’s devastated family is now preparing to take legal action against the landlord, claiming negligence on his part.
One of the lawyers representing the family emphasized that regardless of the landlord’s awareness of the tenant’s presence inside the apartment, locking him in was a dangerous and potentially life-threatening act.
Rather than resorting to such drastic measures, the landlord should have followed the legal route, seeking a court order or approaching a small claims court to address the unpaid rent issue.
“This was the first time I had come across such a heart-wrenching case in his entire legal career,” he added. He is keen to raise awareness about this situation to prevent any similar occurrences in the future.
Landlord Thought He Moved Away
The landlord told Sin Chew Daily that thought the deceased had moved out and didn’t send anyone to break the door to check the inside.
It was only on the evening of July 2nd, at 7:30 pm, that she went to the unit and chained the iron door from the outside. It wasn’t until she received a call from the police that she realized something had happened.
Before that, she contacted the deceased many times but he did not pick up her calls.
She stated that she believes the deceased had every opportunity to save himself. She doesn’t understand why the family suspects that the deceased starved to death.
This is because the balcony of the living room and the small balcony in the kitchen in the unit are very close to the balcony of the neighbouring unit. Moreover, there are people coming and going on the ground floor.
She said that since the incident, she has received one call from the investigating officer, asking her to allow the deceased’s family to come and collect his belongings.
The mother of the deceased, his aunt, and one other person came to collect the deceased’s personal documents and other belongings before 5:19 pm on July 29th. She also added that they did not communicate much with her.